President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner the ODM leader Raila Odinga may just suffer another blow in their efforts to popularise the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in Mt. Kenya region.
Members of County Assembly (MCAs) allied to Deputy President William Ruto from across the 10 counties in the region will be meeting at Thika Greens in Murang’a today, while another team will be in Nyahururu next weekend to chart the way forward and give their stand on the BBI issue, which has divided the region.
Ruto’s allies have clustered counties in three groups where they are scheduled to meet the ward representatives to discuss BBI and his 2022 presidential bid.
Already, the allies have met MCAs from Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka Nithi, which formed the first group that had an inaugural meeting on Saturday last week.
Today, Tangatanga leaders will meet MCAs from Kiambu, Nairobi, Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Embu while the last meeting at Nyahururu town on January 30 will be targeting MCAs in Nyeri, Nyandarua, Nakuru and Laikipia.
Forty-two Meru MCAs attended the meeting alongside five from Isiolo, five from Tharaka Nithi, and 19 from Kirinyaga. There were also a couple of MCAs from Nyeri and Kiambu. MPs Rahim Dawood (North Imenti) and Josephat Gichunge (Tigania West) also attended.
The steering committee of the Mt Kenya MCAs meeting includes Chinga MCA Kiruga Thuku, Gatanga’s Nahashon Gachuhi, Ken Mukira (Nyandarua), Kinyua Wangui (Kirinyaga), Elias Murage (Meru), Peter Mbae (Nakuru), Robarto Maina (Laikipia) and Mr Ikonya from Kiambu.
It is understood that after the meeting today, the allies will then select their representatives who will lead a charm offensive campaigns at the grassroots to popularise Ruto’s bid.
“We have requested the deputy president to attend the ceremony and he said he will if he will be available,” said Thuku, adding that they will not discuss BBI.
Ruto’s Spokesman David Mugonyi, however, said he was not aware that his boss will attend the meeting, answering in a brief text message, “There is nothing like that” when a local daily tried to reach out to him.
Mt Kenya region Assemblies Caucus representative Charles Ng’ang’a said Ruto’s allies have been wooing them to oppose the BBI report in a bid to flex their muscles and to prove that although the region is perceived as President Kenyatta’s stronghold, they have been able to turn tables.
“We have been approached on how we shall reject the BBI report in the region. They argue that the proposed Ward Development Fund is just but a sweetener and a bait for us to approve the report but they are telling us that the State has been unable to release development monies from the Treasury and will not be able to implement the proposal,” said Ng’ang’a.
Ng’ang’a has, however, urged the MCAs to ignore the gimmicks and approve the report due to the gains that the region will get.
He further claimed that DP Ruto’s allies are only interested in settling political scores.
“However, I urge MCAS to reject such gimmicks and approve the report due to the gains that the region will get. Other than ward fund, there are other proposals like the revenue sharing formula and representation that favours our region, Ruto’s allies are only interested in settling political scores but the report seeks to cater for our interests.”