President Kenyatta was on Wednesday categorical he was not keen on extending his term in office, but read the Riot Act to opponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) said to be pushing for expansion of the Cabinet.
Mr Kenyatta who had been accused in some quarters of working with ODM leader Raila Odinga to push for a parliamentary system of government so that he can be prime minister when his second term ends, rubbished the claims saying he will go home in 2022.
“Wanasema ati BBI ni ya kutafutia Uhuru kazi. Mimi sitaki kazi, nimechoka. Eeeh! BBI ni ya kuhakikisha ya kwamba hakuna Mkenya atamwaga damu tena katika nchi yetu kwa sababu ya siasa. Tuko pamoja”.
“Na hiyo barabara najua tutafikisha pamoja na ndugu Raila na viongozi wengine wa Kenya. Kwa hivyo msidanganywe jameni, msidanganywe. Mpende nchi yenu, mjipende nyinyi wenyewe, mjiheshimu nyinyi wenyewe na mimi sina shaka tutatoboa hii safari.”
(BBI is not meant to give me a job as they say. I don’t want a job. I’m tired. BBI is meant to ensure never again shall any Kenyan shed blood because of politics.”
(Together with Raila and other like-minded leaders I know we shall finish that successfully. So don’t be cheated, love your country, love and respect yourselves. I’ve no doubt that we shall succeed in this journey,” the President said.
Speaking at the launch of the building of the Sh65 billion JKIA-Westlands Expresssway in Nairobi, the President promised to fully implement the BBI report with his former political nemesis-turned-ally Mr Odinga.
The President, who was accompanied by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe, among other leaders, said the motorway once completed will boost transport and ensure youth employment.
“We’ve told contractors to involve the local youth in Embakasi, Mlolongo, Kawangware and Kibra in jobs. We hope that once the project is complete, it will reduce road traffic and ensure Nairobi is connected to other East Africa Community towns,” Mr Kenyatta added.
Although the absence of his deputy, William Ruto during the launch of the crucial project was interpreted by some critics as a show of widening rift between the two, the DP was in Kericho where he presided over an event for independent commissions.
Mr Ruto is on record stating that just like the collapse of the Thirdway Alliance’s Punguza Mizigo push for change of Constitution, the others were also doomed to fail.
The President said Kenya belonged to all tribes and no tribe was bigger than the other. “We’re all Kenyans and we all need respect and development to improve the lives of all Kenyans wherever they are,” he said.
The Head of State, whose words appeared to be directed at the DP’s Tangatanga brigade, did not mince his words as he openly expressed his support for the BBI.
The DP is on record criticising politicians pushing for constitutional change, arguing that they were only interested in creating positions for selfish gains.
Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju in reaffirming the ruling party’s commitment to support the BBI said it was good the Head of State reiterated what their ‘real’ position on the drive is. It was “consistent with what we’ve been saying. Basically, that is what is well articulated in the nine-point agenda of the BBI,” he said.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said the President sounded a warning to political brokers who have been going around claiming to be speaking for him.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who is tasked with ensuring the BBI success in Mt Kenya region, vowed that local leaders will support the ‘handshake’ between the President and Mr Odinga to ensure BBI succeeds with the best possible outcome.
“ President Kenyatta has always been very categorical that the ‘handshake’ was intended to solve the problem of disputed elections that brought conflict and instability in the country every five years,” Ms Waiguru told the Nation.
The ‘handshake’, she added, was meant “to bring lasting peace and inclusivity in the country... starting with the BBI initiative that will eventually lead to legislative and structural reforms.”
Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny said the President’s pronouncement on the BBI drive was “a Riot Act to the DP and everyone who is associated with those undermining him.
“The writings are on the wall (sic)that it’s not going to be easy. It’s now a reality that BBI is coming, so it’s a wake-up call for them!” Mr Kuttuny said.
He said they welcomed the President’s decree for speaking out the message straight to the people who have been underestimating him.