A section of Mt Kenya leaders have backed Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata’s sentiments on the popularity of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
They said proponents of BBI were out of touch with the needs and aspirations of ordinary Kenyans.
The leaders warned President Uhuru Kenyatta that those he had trusted with driving the BBI agenda were misleading him.
They spoke today during the funeral service of Cardinal John Njue’s sister Jonnes Njuki in Manyatta, Embu County attended by Deputy President William Ruto.
They were Njeru Ndwiga (Embu), John Muchiri (Manyatta), Eric Muchangi (Runyenjes), Geoffrey King’ang’i (Mbeere South), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Cecily Mbarire (nominated), and Embu Deputy Governor David Njeru.
Ms Mbarire said it was insensitive for the Government to channel resources to referendum when the country was grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said parents do not have school fees to take their children to school, schools cannot provide sanitisers and masks for students, health sector is deteriorating and the economy is in shambles.
“Between all these problems and a Sh14 Billion referendum, what should be the priority?” She posed.
Ms Mbarire asked President Kenyatta to listen to the plight of the people.
Mr Muchiri wondered how the Government was determined to have a costly referendum when the country’s economy is slumping.
On his part, Mr Kuria said Kenyans are opposed to the BBI document because most of the key issues they had raised were not addressed.
He said the proponents of BBI approach characterised by reggae bravado, chest-thumping and contempt had caused the President a lot of embarrassment.
“We saw this coming and asked them to bring everyone on board and iron out contentious issues but they turned us down,” said Mr Kuria.
Mr King’ang’i said it was unfortunate that those pushing for constitutional amendments do not want to engage in honest conversation about the situation in the country.
He said: “The truth is that the economy has gone down. We need to relook at our budget and focus on priorities that will uplift citizens.”
Mr Ndwiga said he will not engage in BBI politics since his people had not been provided with BBI documents to enable them to make informed decisions.
His sentiments were echoed by Deputy Governor Njeru who noted that Mr Kang’ata was distancing himself from individuals drunk with power and out of touch with reality.
Meanwhile, Dr Ruto said he will steer clear of BBI politics and instead focus his energy on the implementation of government projects.
“Because there is a lot of work to be done, I will focus on helping President Kenyatta on issues of development; others can drive the BBI agenda.”
The Deputy President asked leaders to focus on finding solutions to challenges facing Kenyans.
He pointed out the country’s poor economy, high rates of unemployment and reduced investments as some of the key issues that ought to be prioritised.
Dr Ruto said: “As leaders we must seek solutions to these challenges, however, the solution to these challenges should not take a tribal angle or come up with plans for specific communities.”