NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – The fifth public consultative meeting on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) got underway in Narok County on Saturday, amid fears of the possible exclusion of non-Maasai leaders among them Narok Deputy Governor Evalyn Aruasa and Emurua Dikirr lawmaker Johana Ng’eno.
Aruasa and Ng’eno are among non-Maasai speaking who were locked out of a planning meeting in what was seen as ethnic profiling targeting the non-dominant communities.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s aide Dennis Onyango later issued a statement urging tolerance.
Host Governor Samuel Tunai, Kajiado’s Joseph ole Lenku were among thousands of locals were among those attending the Narok stadium meeting.
The public forum comes a day after thousands of delegates from Narok and Kajiado Counties met to outline their issues- in a meeting that was dominated by calls for land reforms.
The meeting was held in the presence of Odinga where the Maasai leaders expressed their outright opposition to a recommendation to create 14 regional governments, as the third tier of government in addition to 47 counties.
Odinga urged area leaders to ensure that their views do not lock out other communities living in the vast Maasai counties.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) met the delegates at a charged and emotive meeting convened by Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku and which was attended by 15 Members of Parliament and more than 100 Members of County Assembly from across the Maa counties.
Aruwasa and Ng’eno walked out of the meeting, accusing some of the leaders present of fueling ethnicity.
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina and nominated MCA Leah Ntimama ignited ethnic tension when they insisted the Maasai community had been taken advantage of.
Ntimama provoked the delegates when she said Narok County had made a mistake by having a Deputy Governor from the Kipsigis community from the larger Kalenjin.
Meanwhile, the BBI steering committee sitting in Nairobi has over the week collected views from key leaders and organisations, before a final report is drafted, paving way for constitutional amendments through a referendum.