Just hours after the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji presented its much-anticipated report to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday, Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, who have been opposing it, made an about-turn and declared their support for it.
Did the BBI task force cede to their demands?
Well, Garissa Township MP and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot are some of DP Ruto’s allies that have publicly declared support for the report to be officially launched today (Wednesday) at the Bomas of Kenya.
According to the DP’s lieutenants, the report lacks the ‘tsunami’, which they say ODM leader Raila Odinga had warned them was coming.
Murkomen listed four major reasons why he has started dancing to the BBI tune.
He said it was because it was the President’s report and largely reflects the views of the Jubilee Party. It would not require a referendum, and was subject to further discussions and review. Contrary to earlier threats, it did not amount to a tsunami and would not overburden the mwananchi.
“I support BBI Report because 1. It’s President’s own report & largely reflects the views of Jubilee 2. Doesn’t require a referendum; we’ll sort in Parliament 3.Subject to further discussion & review 4.contrary to earlier threats doesn’t amount to a Tsunami 5.Doesn’t overburden mwananchi,” tweeted Murkomen.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said the establishment of the position of a Prime Minister appointed by the President with the approval of the House could be done by amending the Constitution without having to hold a referendum.
Duale added that he strongly believed that the proposals contained in the BBI report could be effected without holding a referendum, “which will definitely be divisive, with winners and losers”.
Kimilili MP Barasa, who has been a strong critic of anything Raila Odinga is involved in, also declared his support for the report, arguing that the BBI task force had avoided the divisive referendum, arguing that the issues raised could be dealt with in Parliament.
He also claimed that the report task force ceded to their demands and avoided a tsunami that “could have washed away the bridges that President Kenyatta and his deputy have built since 2013”.
For his part, DP Ruto said that Kenyans would now be focused on “having an honest, democratic, inclusive and informed debate where no views are superior or inferior”.
In the BBI report, the President remains the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief, while the Prime Minister will draw his powers from Parliament and supervise day-to-day government affairs.
The PM, under the proposals, will be the leader of the largest political party or coalition of parties, and will be appointed by the President and approved by the House.