Ruto’s Tough Conditions for BBI

The Deputy President William Ruto has been against the BBI report. However, speaking in Kakamega, the second in command seemed to have changed tune concerning BBI. Ruto said that he will be present during the launch of the report. Moreover, he said he will support it only if certain conditions are met. Ruto, together with his brigade including Benjamin Washiali and Didmus Barasa said that they will support BBI under some conditions. The following are Ruto’s tough conditions for BBI.

1. DP’s Roles Must be Included in the Constitution

This is one of Ruto’s tough conditions for BBI. First, the Deputy President and his brigade want functions of the Deputy President to be anchored in the constitution. According to them, this will preserve the dignity of his office. This requirement is said to have been reached as a result of the treatment which the second in command has received from his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta. According to Caleb Kositany, a close confidante of the Deputy President, the BBI is meant to create the positions of the Prime Minister and his two deputies but nothing that supports the interests of the citizens. Moreover, he said that the document is silent on the functions of the DP. According to Mr. Kositany, the DP has been sidelined and even in the cabinet he is a bystander.

2. DP’s Views Must be Captured in the Referendum

Dp Ruto; © Nation Media Group

The DP and his brigade want their views to be captured in the Referendum Bill before parliament. According to Dr Korir Sing’oei, the DP’s head of strategy, the law should be structured in a way that allows citizens to vote on given issues and not reduced to a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ style of vote on given issues. Moreover, Mr. Korir further said that the constitutions should give the people a chance to vote for the specific proposals they like and reject those which they don’t. As indicated, team ‘tangatanga’ wants “room for cherry-picking.”

3. A Referendum Law Must be Put in Place

DP Ruto’s brigade wants a referendum law to be incorporated in the referendum. This is to say that the country does not have a referendum law. However, the National Assembly is in the process of merging two referenda bills published by two of its committees; Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) and Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC)- to make the process effective. As argued by this camp, the referendum law will address all the current loopholes for a credible process.

4. The DP Must be Accorded a Place at the High-table

The DP and his team wants to be accorded a place at the high-table where decisions are made and not to be treated as a cheering squad. As has been, DP Ruto’s camp is being invited at the last minute just to rubberstamp a finished document. However, this demand might not be easy to be attained as the high-table is already occupied by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his ‘brother’ Raila Odinga. A third principal is not needed on this table. This is evidenced by the sentiments of David Murathe, the Jubilee party vice-chairman as he claimed that if the DP is brought on the high-table, he will complicate the equation.

5. The President has to Hold a Jubilee Parliamentary Group Meeting

The Tangatanga brigade wants the president to call a Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group Meeting which will help them to take a position on the report. According to Didmus Barasa, Kimilili MP, the president must bring the Jubilee party on the table to get their views on the BBI report. This, as stated by DP Ruto’ camp, will aid them to take a position in the report. Mr Barasa said, “If the president can come and talk to us, without lecturing us like he has done in the previous meetings, we may listen to his BBI preaching. What we want is to build a consensus in a respectful manner. He should also give us the implementation matrix of the document.”

6. “Moism” Should not be Brought Back

The DP’s camp claim that they want a document that will support the economy of the country and not one that creates political positions. Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said that he is concerned by the fact that the proposed changes are bringing back “Moism” (referring to an imperial President after the former President Daniel Moi). The Law-maker was concerned by the section of the BBI report that calls for a powerful President with the powers to hire and fire. This, according to Nyoro, will weaken institutions like the Judiciary. Therefore, the tangatanga wing want this section amended before they, led by the DP, can support BBI.

According to the research conducted by prolatest.com, the DP will support the document if conditions favoring his 2022 presidential bid will be obeyed.

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