A section of Jubilee leaders have said the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leadership has hijacked the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to pursue its political agenda ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The leaders said the recent rally in Kisii County and the one being planned for Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega later this month was an indication that BBI was no longer about the recommendations recently launched at the Bomas of Kenya.
Speaking in Narok and Uasin Gishu Counties on Sunday in the presence of Deputy President William Ruto, the MPs said BBI had now been transformed into a political vehicle for ODM.
Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) and Hillary Barchok (Bomet), MPs Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North), Johana Ngeno (Emurrua Dikirr), Soipan Tuya (Narok Woman Rep), Beatrice Kones (Bomet East), Lemanken Aramat (Narok East), Kirui Limo (Kipkelion East), Hilary Kosgei ( Kipkelion West), Lemanken Aramat (Narok East) and Kipsengeret Koros (Sigowet-Soin) accompanied the Deputy President.
Others were Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Janet Busienei (Turbo), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Gladys Shollei (Women Rep, Uasin Gishu), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Julius Melly (Tinderet) and Cornelly Serem (Aldai).
Dr Ruto said what was witnessed in Kisii was ODM reorganising itself ahead of 2022 elections, saying the meeting had nothing to do with matters pertaining to BBI.
“What we witnessed in Kisii recently was ODM planning its 2022 affairs. We have no problem with ODM organising itself but it should not hide under BBI to pursue its selfish ends,” said Dr Ruto at St Paul Makongi secondary schhool grounds, Soy, Uasin Gishu County.
“For some leaders to tell us what happened in Kisii had something to do with BBI was a lie. We have no money to misuse on matters of political parties in the name of BBI,” added Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President said the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga has disintegrated the Opposition and threatened the National Super Alliance.
He added that the handshake was now stalling development projects besides attempting to divide the Jubilee party.
“Politics of deceit will not take this country anywhere. Kenya has not been on the right path because of politics of deceit,” said Dr Ruto.
Mr Ichungwa said what was going on in the name of BBI were political coalitions ahead of the 2022 elections.
“Raila Odinga and his team are building political coalitions ahead of 2022. What they are doing have nothing to do with the BBI recommendations,” said Mr Ichungwa.
“What we are witnessing in the country is political realignments in the name of BBI issues. In fact, ODM leader Raila Odinga is using the opportunity to popularize his party ahead of 2022,” said Mr Kuria.
He added: “What we saw was Raila Odinga launching his political alignment that will see Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru as running mate and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi as his Prime Minister in 2022.”
They said it was annoying that Sh10 billion had been allocated for the popularisation of BBI yet no one had objected its recommendations despite the fact that Kenyans were undergoing hard economic times.
Mr Ngunjiri said the only genuine handshake that has brought peace and unity in the country was the one done in 2013 between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Deputy President.
“The handshake and the BBI are all about political survival of some leaders ahead of 2022. It has nothing to do with unity of Kenyans,’ said Mr Ngunjiri.
Governor Mandago and MP Kositany wondered why some funds have been set for BBI campaigns yet there were no oppositions on its recommendations.
At the same time, the leaders asked civil servants to uphold the rule of law.
Dr Ruto said disrespecting the rule of law was a recipe for anarchy and impunity in the country.
He said civil servants who disobey court orders would be held accountable individually.
“I ask all public officers to ensure that they play their part in ensuring that there is respect for the rule of law in our nation. In this era, there are no orders from above,” said Dr Ruto at Olerai African Gospel Church (AGC) in Narok West Constituency.
MP Cheptumo, who is also the Parliamentary Committee chairman on Justice and Legal Affairs, said civil servants must adhere to the rule of law.
“All Kenyans irrespective of their status in the society must respect the rule of law including court orders,” said Mr Cheptumo.
Mr Kuria said former presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki did not ignore court summons or orders as being done by the Jubilee administration.
The Deputy President also urged Kenyans not to allow politicians to use BBI to divide them on political and ethnic affiliations.
“We all took a common stand on BBI. However, there are those who want to use BBI to divide Kenyans into YES camp and No camp,” said Dr Ruto.
He told ODM members to be sincere about their 2022 plans instead of hiding behind the BBI.
“Do not use public resources to fund meetings whose agenda is to plan your 2022 lineup,” said Dr Ruto.
Mr Tongoyo wondered why there were a lot of political campaigns around the BBI despite it being supported by leaders from across the board unconditionally
Mr Barchok and Ms Aruasa said funds used to amend the BBI report, which had already been accepted by all Kenyans, should be utilized to complete Government development projects.
Mr Songok said the only solution to the country’s woes during and after election was for participants to accept the will of the people.
Ms Tuya said politicians were using BBI to raise the country’s political temperatures in preparation for 2022 elections.