President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya backyard will take a common stand on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) recommendations before the end of the month after an attempt to convene a meeting last December failed.
The 10 governors of Embu, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Nakuru, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Meru, Murang’a and Tharaka-Nithi have announced that they will spearhead a regional leaders’ conference so that they can speak with one voice.
Speaking at Nairobi’s Panafric Hotel on Monday, the governors said they will invite like-minded leaders from the region for the planned consultative forum where issues like amendment of the current system of government will be debated.
“We support the BBI but we have some desired amendments (in its recommendations). We will take a common position on it after having a discussion as a region,” Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia said.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said the leaders are also preparing a memorandum on the issues they want captured in the second phase of public participation and final report.
“We want our views to be incorporated because we believe BBI will make lives better for Central Kenya people. We will also distribute booklets,” said Ms Waiguru, who is an ardent advocate of the return of the office of prime minister with two deputies.
According to her, this will distribute positions
to various communities at the national level unlike the situation now where the presidency is shared between two communities only.
She is also of the view that an expanded executive will enhance national cohesion and representation of regions at the helm of the country where major decisions are made.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga told critics of the BBI process to join its proponents and fight from within.
“As a region, we must be in the BBI process. We have to join them and fight for the interests of our region while inside. We cannot fight for our welfare while outside the exercise; we must join them,” said Mr Kahiga.
His comments follow widespread fear that with the current system of governance, the region is likely to be out of the post-2022 government despite its numerical strength in voting.
The governors also condemned political formations in the region, saying this has led to physical confrontations, mainly in Nyeri and Murang’a counties.
In December, Mt Kenya leaders had planned a meeting to discuss and adopt a common position on the BBI report but it was cancelled at the last minute after politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto scuttled the plan.
The meeting, called by Mt Kenya Foundation at Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi, was met with opposition from the Tangatanga group because the organisers were viewed as leaning towards the Kieleweke faction which enjoys State House backing.
Last week, ODM leader Raila Odinga held the first regional BBI consultative meeting in Kisii County, which marked the start of taking the discussion to the grassroots.