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Citing incitement, Ruto threatens to stop BBI rallies

Sunday February 23 2020

Deputy President William Ruto in Embu

Deputy President William Ruto during a service at Gatunduri Full Gospel Church in Manyatta Constituency, Embu County, on February 23, 2020. PHOTO | DPPS 

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Deputy President William Ruto has accused Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders of inciting tribes against each other while drumming up support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

DP Ruto on Sunday claimed that politicians in Raila Odinga's party have been using the rallies to whip up tribal animosity.

He claimed they preach negative ethnicity and hatred and say that for Kenyans to seek political seats and work in certain areas, they must seek their blessings.

"They are even profiling some communities. This is unacceptable," he said, noting there can't be any bloodshed and warning that the rallies may be stopped.

"As the Deputy President of Kenya, I will not allow anyone to cause chaos at the expense of citizens," he said at Gatunduri Full Gospel Church in Embu County.



Dr Ruto said the "political conmen" must be rejected.

"If the reggae which is being witnessed at BBI rallies is about preaching (negative) ethnicity and profiling some communities, then we shall stop it," he said.

He told the leaders, whom he did not name, that Kenya is a God-fearing nation and that ta few self-centred people will not be allowed to plunge it into political turmoil.

"When the leaders spoke at Narok's BBI rally, they spoke of dividing Kenyans. As the government this is not what we want."

The DP stressed that the BBI is meant to unite Kenyans, not divide them.

After violence was witnessed at the BBI rally in Kitui County, DP Ruto noted that this is no way to approach the debate.

He said bridges cannot be built with violence and that each person has a right to be heard as the BBI matter concerns all Kenyans.


Regarding church donations, the Deputy President criticised Mr Odinga, saying he is trying to use the BBI to block them.

"They are planning to ensure no more contributions towards church development. They will not succeeded," he said, adding "this country does not belong to Raila".

Mr Odinga, in his warning about a relentless war on corruption, has said politicians cannot take money acquired in questionable ways to churches.

The ODM leader has also told those opposed to the BBI reform process to ready to battle with his team at the polls.

"If you don't want what we are doing then wait for us during the vote, " he said, noting the BBI resulted from the need to end issues such as graft, poverty, illiteracy and disease, which have persisted since independence.

"We have to eliminate corruption. The culture where a clique of corrupt individuals plunder public resources then turn into overnight billionaires, whose sources of income are questionable, [has to end] " he said last week.


Eight MPS from the Mt Kenya region, who are allied to Dr Ruto, accompanied him to the church service.

They alleged a plot to doctor the BBI report and use it to block Dr Ruto ambition to become President after the 2022 general election.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said, "The BBI is being secretly being changed to ensure the President is elected by MPs in in the National Assembly. This is  a scheme to ensure Ruto does not take over power after President Uhuru Kenyatta's term expires."

Mr Kuria and the other MPs said they want a popularly elected President and swore to reject a BBI that will dictate how they should pick their next leader.


The lawmakers further claimed that the report is being manipulated to create seats for governors opposed to Dr Ruto's ambition.

"That is why the BBI is being messed up. We are alert and hall disown the document," said Muriuki Njagagua (Mbeere North).

The MPs assured the DP of their support and said nothing can stop hid bid to become President.

Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) said, "We shall continue backing Dr Ruto's presidential ambition, whether his political enemies like it or not."

Others present were John Muchiri (Manyatta), Eric Muchangi (Runjenjes), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Geoffrey King'ang'i (Mbeere South) and Woman Representative Jane Wanjuki.

Later, while presiding over a fundraiser in aid of Embu mosque at Embu Stadium, Dr Ruto announced that Sh1.4billion had been set aside for an electricity project to benefit 25,000 residents.