NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 9 – Governors on Monday kicked off a two-day retreat in Naivasha where they were expected to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga.
The retreat organised by the Council of Governors (CoG) aimed at according the two leaders an opportunity to rally the support of the county chiefs for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
Officials said some Ward Representatives were also invited to the meeting through their umbrella body, the County Assemblies Forum (CAF).
The Head of State and the former Prime Minister are keen to use the meeting to drum up support for the report which has sparked mixed reactions, with a section of the Governors and Ward representatives warning that its implementation will particularly weaken the Senate.
The Governors had also raised concerns over the requirement stipulated in the report that those vying for gubernatorial slots should pick women as their running mates.
“We are keen to ensure that our views and demands are captured in the report and that is the purpose of the retreat,” said CoG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya.
The Governors and the MCAs will be taken through the document by a team of experts with the view of building consensus on the report.
The retreat follows a similar one two weeks ago where Uhuru and Raila met MPs from the bicameral Parliament who resolved to back the document and popularize it ahead of next year’s referendum that will see Kenyans cast their vote on whether to alter the country’s governance structure.
At least 24 county assemblies must approve the Bill for it to proceed to a referendum.
This will be the third time the country goes into a vote for a constitutional review after the 2005 and the 2010 referendum.
Deputy President William Ruto who has largely been isolated from the BBI talks will not be present during the retreat.
DP Ruto has been leading a campaign to oppose the BBI report insisting that the document must undergo further amendments before a referendum.
But allies of the president and prime minister insist that no further changes will be made on the report.