Deputy President William Ruto has cautioned leaders against using the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to sideline other Kenyans.
He said Kenya is bigger than any politician, noting that no one would be allowed to use BBI to divide or sideline Kenyans.
Dr Ruto said Kenyans irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliations have a right to give their views as far as the BBI recommendations were concerned.
Speaking during a tour of development projects in Embakasi West Constituency, Nairobi County, on Thursday, Dr Ruto said Kenya ‘is for all of us’ adding that everyone’s views matters.
“BBI is for all Kenyans and no one should be sidelined or prevented from giving his or her views. Each and every Kenyan views matters and should be respected,” said Dr Ruto.
He said no one had the authority to lecture Kenyans on the nature of people to attend BBI meetings.
“We are not refugees in Kenya to be invited to attend BBI meetings. We are participating in the process because we have a right to do so since the program is for all of us. No one should tell us who should attend and who should not attend such meetings,” said Dr Ruto.
He added: “Leaders should not hijack this process. Let ordinary Kenyans have a say on the entire process as this is not an avenue for few leaders to look for political seats.”
The Deputy President was accompanied by MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), George Theuri (Embakasi West), Nixon Korir (Langata) and James Gakuya (Embakasi North).
The Deputy President said Kenya was a democratic country and that those with divergent views over a given issue should not be victimized or sidelined over their stand.
Dr Ruto said some leaders wanted to portray BBI as an avenue of sharing of positions instead of giving ordinary Kenyans the opportunity to own the process.
““BBI is not for leaders to look for positions but this process is for all Kenyans including mama mboga (vegetable vendors) mechanics, people with special needs among others to give their views,” said Dr Ruto.
He went on: “All of us have agreed that we do not want politics of hatred and negative ethnicity. The discussions about BBI should be about the unity of all Kenyans. We must speak for the people who have no jobs, our businesspeople but not our selfish interests as politicians.”
Mr Kuria said BBI should not be an avenue for some leaders to push their political agenda ahead of 2022 General Election.
“We should terminate matters pertaining to BBi in six months time as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta so as not to be hijacked by some leaders to be their political tool ahead of 2022,” said Mr Kuria.
He said they would attend the BBI meetings to be held across the country, adding that they would only support the recommendations launched by President Kenyatta in Bomas recently.
“The BBI that we are supporting is the one that was launched at the Bomas by President Kenyatta. We will not be party to recommendations outside Bomas,” he said.
Mr Korir wondered why some leaders were pretending as if they were the ones who own BBI, saying the process was about Kenyans and not few individuals.
“We have no prefects or headmasters in this BBI issue. All Kenyans are equal and should be given the opportunity to give their views on what should be implemented and what should not be,” said Mr Korir.
The leaders told the Yusuf Haji led taskforce to release the program of meetings to allow all Kenyans participate and give their views on the BBI recommendations.
Mr Theuri said all Kenyans were in support of BBI, noting that there was no need for some leaders to create tension and confusion among Kenyans on a matter that no one has opposed.
At the same time, Dr Ruto said the Government would continue to implement its policy on 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school.
“Out of the 1million pupils who did their KCPE last year, 70 percent have so far joined secondary education. We will make sure the remaining 30 percent of the students are enrolled in secondary schools,” said Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President opened among others City carton community centre and chief’s office, an autism block in Buruburu phase one primary school, a modern classroom block in Superior primary school (Mowlem) before inspecting infrastructural development in Umoja One primary school