Kenya is not a 'reggae' nation, says DP William Ruto

Sunday March 01 2020

Deputy President William Ruto gives his contribution during a fundraiser at ACK Church in Khwisero, Kakamega on March 1, 2020. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Deputy President William Ruto has vowed to stop the ‘reggae wave’ in the ongoing BBI rallies.

ODM leader Raila Odinga has been using the phrase ‘nobody can stop reggae’ to promote the BBI agenda.

But the DP said Kenya is a God-fearing nation and not a reggae country as is being portrayed in the rallies. Speaking during a funds drive for the Anglican Church in Khwisero, Kakamega County, Dr Ruto vowed to stop the ‘reggae declaration’ made by Mr Odinga in the Meru BBI rally on Saturday.


"I want to say for the avoidance of doubt that Kenya is a country of prayer and not reggae and magicians. We will stop this reggae,” he said. The DP said Kenya’s biggest challenge is not the greed for power being exhibited by BBI proponents, rather how to lift people out of poverty and make national discussions all inclusive.

"We all agree that we want cohesive politics contributing to economic development. Kenyans want a prosperous nation. We will not leave the matters of the country to a few people who want positions and power,” he said.


READ: You cannot stop 'reggae' - Kamket tells off DP Ruto

He added: "The BBI dialogue should involve all and not just politicians and leaders. BBI should not be taken hostage by a few people. As the Deputy President, I assure you Kenya will continue to be a country of prayer and not reggae," he said. The DP also vowed to foster the unity agenda that led to the formation of the ruling Jubilee Party.

He was accompanied by MPs Ben Washiali (Mumias East), Malulu Injendi (Malava), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Charles Gimose (Hamisi), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Dr Enoch Kibunguchy (Likuyani), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.

On Saturday, Mr Odinga declared that the rallies will continue and ‘nobody will stop reggae,’ in reference to the ongoing push to change the Constitution through the BBI.

The next rally will be held in Nakuru on March 7. Other rallies have been held in Kisii, Kakamega, Mombasa, Kitui and Narok.

BBI, a product of the handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, has been viewed by allies of Dr Ruto as a ploy to bring him down and curtail his 2022 State House bid.

Dr Kibunguchy wondered why his Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula was attending the rallies, recalling how ODM de-whipped him as the minority leader in the Senate and handed the position to Siaya Senator James Orengo.

"BBI was intended to unite us. We the people from western want BBI to tell us how it will revive our economy, but not the creation of regional governments.”


Mr Wanyama said no one will stop the Ruto brigade from giving offerings in the church. Mr Odinga has been criticising the donations, saying they are proceeds of corruption.

READ: You can't stop BBI, Uhuru-Raila allies tell DP William Ruto

And speaking separately, Busia Senator Amos Wako, also a member of the BBI taskforce, has cautioned leaders against politicising the forums, warning that the report might lose its original intention of uniting Kenyans.

“It is unfortunate that conversations on 2022 politics are dominating some of these forums, yet we still have more than a year to the general polls. What we should be doing now is preaching the BBI gospel to unite the country,” he said.
Mr Wako urged leaders to give Kenyans a platform to share their views on the report ahead of a proposed referendum.

Additional Reporting by Gaitano Pessa