NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 25 – President Uhuru Kenyatta convened a meeting with top political leaders at State House Thursday to discuss the way forward on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in what stirred fresh speculation on new realignments.
He convened the meeting alongside his handshake partner former Prime Minister and ODM leader Raila Odinga bringing together Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi (Amani), Gideon Moi (KANU), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.
At the end of the meeting, they addressed a press conference with their joint statement read out by Senator Gideon Moi.
“Over the last month, Kenyans have witnessed first-hand the majesty and vibrancy of our constitutional democracy. The Building Bridges Initiative Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill was transmitted by the IEBC to all our nation’s 47 County Assemblies; setting the stage for the First Amendment,” they said.
And they vowed to popularise the BBI , signalling joint campaigns even as they pledged a massive civic education for Kenyans ahead of the national referendum set for June.
41 County Assemblies had approved the BBI Bill by Thursday, with Nandi and Baringo rejecting. Four counties were yet to vote.
Observers said Thursday’s meeting at State House was a clear sign of the next political re-alignment for the 2022 succession politics following a bitter fall-out of the Kenyatta’s political marriage with his Deputy William Ruto.
Below is the full statement by President Kenyatta and the top political leaders he met at State House, Nairobi:
“THUS FAR, 42 County Assemblies have considered the Bill. Their affirming voice has thundered across the Republic, in resonance with the desire of all Kenyans to further strengthen our governance by breaking the cycle of divisive elections, fostering the equitable distribution of resources by enhancing the share of revenues to County Governments, and creating a more robust and responsive framework to secure opportunities for all Kenyans including our micro, small and medium enterprises.
Today, on behalf of a grateful nation, we convey our immense gratitude to all our County Assemblies for their monumental support for this Popular Initiative. Their bold action sets the foundation upon which Kenya shall advance inter-generational equity, realize gender parity, guarantee equal opportunities for all, and give each Kenyan a bigger slice of our shared prosperity.
As we embark on the next stage in realizing the First Amendment, we urge all Kenyans to build on our renewed unity and greater political consensus for the enduring benefit of the nation we all hold dear. BBI represents a once-in-a-generation break from the past; to resolve many longstanding national challenges that hold us back from realizing a united and prosperous Kenya for all.
To ensure the voice of every Kenyan is heard and to enable every one of us to exercise their civic duty, we will undertake civic education to sensitize the entire Kenyan nation on the opportunities that lie for our homeland and nation as part of this initiative.
And to this end we shall hold a joint consultative meeting on the 9th March 2021, involving Members of Parliament and Counties leadership.
As our County Representatives have shown, now is the moment for all Kenyans to put aside partisan divides and come together to build a better Kenya; for ourselves, our children, and for generations of Kenyans yet to be born.”