Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata has never made a solemn word declaring his unflagging support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Prior to his speedy elevation to the position of Majority Whip in the Senate in mid last year, the lawmaker had been a moderate voice in the Jubilee Party squabbles pitting the allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta against those of his deputy, William Ruto.
In July 2020, Kang’ata was taken to task by promoters of the BBI report after he said that the Mt Kenya region would reject the document if senators from other parts of the country would not back the elusive County Revenue Sharing Formula.
But it was on Sunday, 4th January, that the eyebrows of the backers of the BBI were raised after a confidential letter the Murang’a Senator wrote to the President was leaked to the media.
In the stinging letter, Kang’ata claimed that the “BBI is very unpopular in Mt Kenya region”.
According to the lawmaker, his informal research during the Christmas holidays had established that six out out 10 people are against the BBI, two are undecided and two support it.
Kang’ata claimed that the Deputy President William Ruto-allied Tangatanga group had won the hearts of the locals because they speak the common people’s language, while promoters of BBI are selling the report as a factional agenda.
But MPs and governors from the Mt Kenya region, who identify themselves with BBI, have trashed Kang’ata’s letter.
In a statement to newsrooms, all the governors in Mt Kenya area said the senator was seeking political mileage, labelling him a “mole” in the BBI camp.
They demanded Kang’ata to produce reliable evidence, backing his claims.
Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Wanjiru Chege said that as a resident and leader in Murang’a County, she was not consulted in the senator’s “strange findings”.
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said: “That Majority Whip, Senator Kangata, can write a letter to our party leader and President criticising a decision the President has made and then not only leak it to the Press and share it online, but also seek media interviews to discuss it. This shows how wrong we got it on this one while making leadership changes as a party. This we will fix very soon.”
However, Kang’ata has become a hero in the Tangatanga camp, with supporters welcoming him to their side.
“Thank you Senator Kang’ata for re-affirming what I said on 1st December 2020. I hope someone will listen now that it has come from a politically correct person. Welcome to Tangatanga,” Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said.
Some Kenyans read a sinister plot by President Uhuru Kenyatta to bolt out of the March 9, 2018 ‘Handshake’, which he initiated with ODM leader Raila Odinga, arguing that the President might have used Kang’ata as a trojan horse.
Others reasoned that the letter gives the Head of State an upper hand to “peacefully” get out of his political truce with Raila should Kenyans reject the BBI-driven referendum.