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Ruto spoke on Thursday during the burial of nominated Senator Mary Seneta's father Mzee Elijah Ole Kuyo in Isinya, Kajiado County/DPPS


DP Ruto says consensus-based BBI vote critical for national unity

KAJIADO, Kenya, Oct 30 — Deputy President William Ruto has urged leaders to work together towards a consensus on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) recommendations. 

He said it was possible to have a non-contested referendum if leaders would put aside their selfish interests.

DP Ruto asked leaders not to use BBI to divide Kenyans by railroading them to choose sides and instead accommodate divergent views.

“It is possible for us if we eliminate selfish interests to arrive at a consensus so that we can drive this process in a way that will unify the country and avoid unnecessary division,” said Dr Ruto, adding: “There is no gain for anybody to drive us into an us versus them or winners versus losers.”

He spoke on Thursday during the burial of nominated Senator Mary Seneta’s father Mzee Elijah Ole Kuyo in Isinya, Kajiado County. 

Present were MPs Peris Tobiko (Kajiado East), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Alice Wahome (Kandara).

The Deputy President questioned the tone adopted by a section of leaders advocating for the report, which he said was characterised by threats and intimidations. 

He said: “I urge leaders, the constitution is not for us as leaders only that the opinion of leaders is the only opinion that matters, the views of every Kenyan matters too.”

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DP Ruto asked leaders to heed to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call for a consensus that would take into consideration the views of a majority of Kenyans. 

Murkomen asked those pushing for the adoption of BBI report recommendations to stop dismissing the views of those with alternative ones. 

He asked them to stop chest-thumping and shouting at Kenyans that the report must be implemented as it is.

Instead, the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator challenged them to allow Kenyans to freely air their opinions.

“Let us all sit on one table, have a consensus and then pass it. It is possible to have a win-win Constitution that will accommodate everyone.”

Murkomen said there were issues, in addition to those raised by Dr Ruto during the report’s launch at Bomas of Kenya earlier this week, that needed to be fixed.

On her part, Wahome said the airing alternative views to those highlighted in the report does not amount to opposing the report. 

She said when Dp Ruto raised concerns during the reports launch were only meant to improve it to make it more acceptable to Kenyans. 

Wahone said: “The President said there was room for talks and add whatever that was left out to accommodate everyone.”

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