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I'm ready to present my views to BBI team, says DP Ruto

Friday January 24 2020

William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto during an interview with the Nation on January 23, 2020 at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

JAMES KAHONGEH
By JAMES KAHONGEH
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Deputy President William Ruto has said that he is ready to present his views to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) National Steering Committee once it begins its public hearing forums across the country. Dr Ruto said this during an exclusive interview with NTV Thursday night where he also defended his position on the report.

HIJACKED REPORT

Asked why he has not been at the forefront of the support for the BBI, he noted that the report is a public discussion which any Kenyan can join freely and at any time.  

He, however, said that some politicians had hijacked the report. In an attack directed at his political foes, Dr Ruto said it is impossible to collect Kenyans’ views from public rallies.

“There are people who’re hell-bent on creating camps, we’ll not give the opportunity to divide Kenyans,” Dr Ruto warned.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

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He said that the Yusuf Haji-led committee should begin public hearings where Kenyans can give their views in a structured manner.

“I’ve talked to Yusuf Haji and told him when they begin their hearings, I’ll go to present my views,” Dr Ruto said.

The BBI, a brainchild of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, has often been seen to elbow out the DP, claims that he has denied. 

“How does the BBI, which is about inclusivity and unity isolate William Ruto? I won’t allow anyone to create a wedge between the president and myself,” he said.

He claimed that there was an orchestrated, deliberate attempt to set him against President Kenyatta and to create the impression that he is a lone ranger.

“When someone gives a different view, it doesn’t necessarily mean they oppose. It means there’s a different perspective. That there’s a way of looking at it differently,” he said.

REFERENDUM

He added: “There’s a problem when people begin to interpret what Raila Odinga says to mean that’s what Uhuru Kenyatta says.”  

In the past, DP Ruto has publicly opposed the BBI initiative, claiming that it was plot by ODM leader Raila Odinga to get into government, and to create positions for some individuals.

After the launch of the BBI report in November last year at the Bomas of Kenya, Dr Ruto’s allies insisted that the report should be adopted through parliament as opposed to a popular vote.

They argued that a referendum would be a waste public money. The DP now says he supports the report, even as critics term his about-turn dishonest.

Meanwhile, he faces a fresh challenge as leaders in his Rift Valley backyard have started mobilising residents to support the BBI report.

CORRUPTION

Rift Valley BBI Steering Committee Chairperson and Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos said they will support the report,

Mr Tolgos said the region lags behind in development despite being a ‘principal participant’ in the Jubilee government.

Alluding to Dr Ruto’s quest for the presidency, the governor said that Rift Valley leaders would not sit and watch as their people are exposed to ethnic violence and runaway corruption because of an individual’s insatiable greed for powers.