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The return of political violence: chaos rock Ruto’s Murang’a function

MURANG’A, Kenya Mar 7 – Chaotic scenes were witnessed Friday, when supporters of rival camps clashed at a function attended by Deputy President William Ruto.

Ruto was attending a meeting at Kenyoho Secondary School which was disrupted by youths loyal to Kandara MP Alice Wahome who clashed with those supporting area Governor Mwangi Wa Iria.

Police watched helplessly as youths tore each other’s clothes, with pouches and kicks, before the rowdy group was ejected.

Violence broke out just next to the main dais where Ruto and other dignitaries were seated.

Central Kenya is largely divided over BBI, supported by President Uhuru Kenyatta on one hand and opposed by his Deputy.

On Friday, President Kenyatta tore into leaders opposed to BBI, on the day his Deputy Ruto sold a different narrative in Murang’a.

While the President was rallying Kenyans to support the initiative borne out his handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga, Ruto was traversing Murang’a County, accompanied his loyalists who criticised the agenda.

President Kenyatta was in Kiganjo, where he inspected the Nairobi-Naynyuki railway line which, he said, will spur development.

He said BBI was developed in the best interest of the country.

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President Kenyatta and his Deputy are lately reading from different scripts, after Ruto accused him of teaming up with Odinga to sideline him in the 2022 succession race.

“There is no value addition to the people coming from BBI. That is why President Kenyatta and his deputy have left it to Raila Odinga who is using it to divide the country,” said Kandara MP Alice Wahome whose supporters clashed with those of Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria in Ruto’s presence.

Ruto was in Murang’a to attend the opening of Kandara Technical and Vocational College in Kandara.

MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Githua Wamacukuru (Kabete), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Purity Ngirici (Woman Rep, Kirinyaga), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha) and Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) accused Raila of rocking Jubilee Party.

The Kandara MP regretted that the Opposition had turned BBI into an instrument of division, ethnicity and hate.

“At the Bomas of Kenya, we were told that Kenyans would be given the BBI report to read for themselves. Even before Kenyans got a chance to read it, he (Odinga) led his troop all over preaching divisive message,” she explained.

Kuria said he would not rally behind a BBI that is meant to impose leaders on Kenyans.“I am for a BBI that seeks to unite and empower Kenyans,” he said.

While calling for a pro-people BBI, Nyoro said Kenyans should not be forced to support it.

He said Kenya is a democratic country that should accommodate divergent views on issues.

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Ruto said even as the country deliberates on the BBI report, politicians should not use it to divide the country.

“The biggest problem in Kenya is not political positions but the needs of the people. That should be our driving force,” he noted.

The BBI Steering Committee has been taking views from the public, with the last session set for Tuesday.

BBI Steering Committee Chairman said anyone who will not have submitted views by Tuesday will be have a chance to do so through a momerandum.

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