Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner, Orange Democratic Movement leader, Raila Odinga were expected in Naivasha on Monday for a meeting with MPs and Senators supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The meeting, which kicked off on Sunday, is exclusive to leaders supporting all the recommendations in the BBI report that was launched last week, sending the strongest signal that the two top leaders have no time with anyone opposed to it or its sections.
“There is nothing to be added in the (BBI) report. We are going to pass it as it is,” said Maina Kamanda, nominated Member of Parliament.
He said those “shouting that the report should be amended had the opportunity to present their views when the first draft was released.”
Deputy President William Ruto and leaders allied to him have vowed to rally Kenyans to reject the report if contentious issues are not addressed.
“We are saying that if this document remains only about expanding the Executive, we shall stop this reggae,” Ruto said in Tharaka Nithi on Sunday during a charm offensive seen as part of his 2022 campaigns.
During the launch of the report at the Bomas of Kenya, Ruto highlighted key issues he wants reviewed, including having only key political parties play a role in hiring electoral commissioners, having a Police Commission which will be controlled by the Executive and the introduction of the Judiciary Ombudsman who shall be a presidential appointee.
Ruto and his allies were not invited to Naivasha for a retreat for Senators and the meeting where President Kenyatta and Raila were expected, with the loyalists reading malice.
“If they want a smooth and successful process then they should walk their talk and be more widely consultative,” said Susan Kihika, Nakuru Senator.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei also protested, saying he was not invited to the talks.
“I did not receive any invitation. I am told it is was some Kamukunji for those pro-BBI,” he said.
But Senate Majority Whip Irung’u Kang’ata has dismissed those demanding to know why they were not invited, saying the meeting was specifically for those who support the report.
Reports indicate that President Kenyatta and Odinga will unveil a roadmap for the BBI campaign at the Naivasha meeting which culminate to a national referendum set for next year.