Deputy President William Ruto has said the country is headed to a lose-lose outcome from the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) unless the hardline position taken by some of those steering the process is relaxed.
He regretted that the costly two-year product had turned out to be “highly controversial and with so many glaring gaps”.
“Those driving the BBI should not tell Kenyans that they have no time for further amendments. If we cannot enrich the document, then we would end up with a bad constitution because its work was entirely unprofessional,” he said.
Dr Ruto spoke on Monday at his Karen residence in Nairobi County when he met Members of the County Assembly of Wajir, led by its Majority Leader Mohamud Gabane and Minority Leader Abdi Hussein.
For the country to rally behind BBI, he said, there was an urgent need to improve its presentation and content.
“If we are trying to sort out the problem of divisive elections leading to a divided country via BBI, why then are we after a divisive referendum that would end up tearing apart the country?” posed Ruto.
He said there should be no rush in the process “if we are serious and mean well for this country”.
“Could we be after a different outcome from the BBI other than the cohesiveness of our country?”
The Deputy President said by the look of things, it was clear some quarters were pushing for a YES-NO referendum for political reasons that targets the 2022 polls.
“Kenyans should not participate in this constricted agenda. Why should we railroad people to go to the presumed NO camp when we can all engage and have a consensus?” He explained.
With the coronavirus intensely destroying livelihoods and taking away lives, the Deputy President said it was time the country’s leadership was united and mobilised resources towards confronting the outbreak rather than campaign for BBI which can be put on hold.
Mr Gabane and Mr Hussein said Wajir County Assembly would not support a BBI that does not give prominence to the needs of the people.
“We would ask the people to reject it from the onset unless our views are factored in the report. We cannot move the country forward by creating positions for a few leaders when a majority of Kenyans are suffering,” said Rashid Karshey, the Wagberi Ward MCA.