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City leaders mobilize parallel BBI town halls as regional forum draws near

Lines have already been drawn in what is promising to be a battle pitting Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, the former having been ordained the convener of the Nairobi regional meeting to the dismay of Sonko-allied lawmakers/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Nairobi City Assembly lawmakers are set for a confrontation over ongoing grassroot mobilization forums ahead of a regional meeting set for February.

Lines have already been drawn in what is promising to be a battle pitting Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, the former having been ordained the convener of the Nairobi regional meeting to the dismay of Sonko-allied lawmakers.

Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Charles Thuo Monday announced plans to hold parallel town hall meetings ahead of the Nairobi BBI consultative forum in a bid to counter similar meetings being spearheaded by Sakaja, Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi, Dagoreti North MP Simba Arati, Makadara MP George Aladwa, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and nominated MP Maina Kamanda.

Speaking after chairing a meeting comprised of Jubilee Party MCAs, Thuo said their series of meetings will begin with a meeting in Roysambu.

“As MCAs we have agreed that we are going to start our BBI initiative and we going the town hall way and not open rallies, we are not trying to challenge anyone but we are just doing our part because that’s what we feel we should do and all leaders are invited,” said Thuo.

He noted that the ward representatives will be able to educate Nairobi resident on the BBI as they also collect their views concerning the document.

Thuo, also Dandora III MCA, said Nairobi ward representatives want to be at the center of the preparations of the anticipated Nairobi BBI rally.

His sentiments were however sharply opposed by Minority Leader Peter Imwatok WHO dismissed the plans as “mere political gimmick and not genuine BBI rallies.”

Imwatok labelled the Thuo group of ward representatives as confused, adding their views were selfish.

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He noted that an itinerary for sub county meetings in Nairobi starting with the Central Business District had been unveiled ahead of the main BBI rally.

“How can 17 MCAs purport to be speaking on behalf of the whole assembly? We only have one BBI and the meetings have been well planned and the organizers are known,” said Imwatok.

The tussle between Thuo and Imwatok emerged barely hours after another group of leaders led by Embakasi West MP George Theuri called for an all-inclusive forum that will adequately address the problems of city residents.

The MP also suggested that Governor Sonko be given a chance to be part of the BBI agenda in Nairobi, noting that he is still legitimately in office.

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