Members of Parliament allied to Deputy President William Ruto have ruled out holding parallel Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meetings to counter those being spearheaded by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Speaking at the end of a two-day retreat at the Lake Naivasha Resort Monday, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen stated that they will only hold one rally at a time.
He announced that the MPs will hold a major rally in Nakuru of February 8, saying they will invite leaders from across the board including President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy and Mr Odinga among others.
“We want to build bridges of friendship and although some of us were not recognised during the Mombasa rally, we want to do things differently,” he insisted.
The latest move by the Tangatanga team is likely to put them in a collision course with the Mr Odinga-led team, with the MPs present at that Naivasha retreat clearly uncomfortable with an expanded executive.
But while answering questions from journalists, Mr Murkomen downplayed such an eventuality, stating that the planned rallies will be managed differently.
He said they will raise funds to enable them hold the planned rallies and that they will not use tax payers’ money.
He termed the proposed meetings as people-driven with locals including the “mama mboga” and other ordinary citizens being given a chance to air their views.
He urged the BBI taskforce committee to urgently release the schedule of public engagement meetings, preferably in every constituency, to collect views from Kenyans at the grassroots.
Nominated MP David Sankok said the planed rallies will be majorly addressed by the wananchi.
“It will not be about leaders,” he added.
During the closed door meeting, the members proposed that a minimum of 3.5 per cent of the national revenue be allocated to the Judiciary.
He termed the funding issues surrounding the Judiciary as being “carrot and stick” in nature, calling for an end to the circus by entrenching it in the Constitution.
“The Judiciary fund can and has been sorted out by Parliament but because of procedural bureaucratic processes, it has been impossible for the Judiciary to function,” he added.
The leaders, in a joint communiqué read by Bungoma Women Rep Catherine Wambiliyanga, said before the creation of additional layers of government, an economic and social fund has to be entrenched in the Constitution.
Although not openly stated during the press briefing, some of the MPs from Mt Kenya said they will be pushing for the issues affecting their people to be included in the BBI.
They cited tea, coffee and milk farming as some of the issues they want addressed.