10 governors from the Central region have differed with Senate Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata on claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pet project, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), is unpopular in the Mount Kenya region.
In a letter addressed to the Head of State, the senator said that he conducted a poll that showed that two in ten people from the Mt. Kenya region were supporting the report.
But in a statement issued on Monday, January 4, 2021, the governors from the Central Region Economic Block (CEREB), dismissed Senator Kangata’s views as personal and misrepresentation of facts.
The governors led by Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), who doubles up as CEREB Chairman, criticized Kang’ata for ignoring official government structures and procedures in his address to the President.
“Such breach of protocol is unacceptable. It raises questions why a senior member of the government leadership in parliament would choose this cheap populist method to address this issue to HE the President whose office is just a few steps away from parliament, ” the statement reads.
The county bosses include Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), James Nyoro (Kiambu), Martin Wambora (Embu), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri).
The governors argued that it’s too early to start making conclusions on the BBI bill.
“While we acknowledge some of the issues raised, we believe it is very premature to judge the Bill as it has just been published for public participation and intensive discussion at the grassroots. It is at this level that the entire leadership will be expected to educate and sensitize wananchi, with elected leaders expected to play a key roll in these public engagements without fear intimidation or coercion, ” the statement adds.
“All Governors attest that wananchi are waiting for the published bill. To intimate that the Mt Kenya region is opposed to the document at this stage is not only preposterous but also a serious misrepresentation of facts and reality, and we repeat very premature.”
They further accused Kang’ata of failing to consult the region’s leadership before going public with the “survey” results.
“We can confirm that at no time did Hon Kangata seek or discuss any of the issues raised with any Governor or key elected leader of the Mt Kenya CEREB region who interact with wananchi at the grassroots on a day to day basis, ” the governors said.
“Hon Kangata’s statement should be deemed as personal and based on personal prejudice. The central Kenya region has a unique political behaviour driven by unique interests and not hysterical emotions.”
According to the county bosses, BBI captures the CEREB regions interests.
“…for example in areas where counties did not get extra MPs wananchi are still positive to BBI because increased resources to counties, to youth, women, PWDs agriculture and cognition of key economic value chains across the country such as livestock sugar potatoes tea coffee infrastructure minerals and natural resources.”
“Hon Kangata talks of a possible bloated wage bill, Governors will be recommending a ring-fenced wage bill whose consequences are reduction of salaries and other allowances.”
The governors said Kang’ata’s remarks as a national leader have far-reaching implications further calling on him to restrain himself from such utterances.
“We urge national leaders to stop issuing irresponsible statements or utterances that may cause despondency and fear. In this regard, we recommend and urge the top jubilee leadership to immediately call together all political actors including national, county and grass-root leadership to operate on a clear synergy of teamwork where everybody pulls together in the national interest, ” they said.