NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan – Ten Governors from Central Kenya have hit out Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata for writing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to warn that the region will not support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum.
Led by Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia, the Governors under the Central Region Economic Block Governors said Kang’ata’s letter was premature and not based on the reality on the ground.
“While we acknowledge some of the issues raised, we believe it is very premature to judge the Bill as it has just been published for public participation and intensive discussion at the grassroots,” they said in the letter jointly signed by Governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) Ann Waiguru (Kirinyaga), James Nyoro (Kiambu), Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia), Mwangi Wa Iria (Murang’a), Martin Wambora (Embu) Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi) and Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri).
They were responding to Kang’ata’s letter that warned President Kenyatta of how unpopular Building Bridges Initiative was in the Central Kenya region.
In his letter, Kang’ata pointed out that only two in ten people in Central Kenya support the BBI report which is a product of President Kenyatta’s handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. He said the finding was based on his own personal observations during the Christmas and the New Year holidays.
The letter has sparked mixed reactions across the political divide, with a section of Central Kenya leaders like Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who is loyal to Deputy President William Ruto saying that they had been vindicated.
But the Governors from the region have told the Senate Chief Whip off, and faulted the channel he used in writting a letter directly to the president.
“As a senior Member of Parliament and Jubilee party, Hon Kangata should have followed official government structures and procedures in his address to the President. Such breach of protocol is unacceptable and it raises questions why a senior member of the government leadership in parliament would choose this cheap populist method to address this issue to HE the President whose office is just a few steps away from parliament,” they said.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) kicked off signatures verification last week setting the stage for a national referendum in June.
With Members of Parliament from Mount Kenya Region now divided in Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga factions who are affiliated to President Kenyatta and the Deputy President, Kang’ata proposed that for the sake of BBI, there is a need to rally all MPs, irrespective of their political factions to support it.
He further wants the President to review the matter of a multi-choice referendum as a solution to avert what he described as a “possible total rejection of the BBI.”