President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga laid down the strategies for the next chapter of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in a four-hour meeting with other proponents at State House Nairobi on Thursday, February 25, 2021.
In attendance were party leaders Gideon Moi (KANU), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Charity Ngilu (NARC), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Moses Wetangula (Ford-Kenya).
The seven leaders held discussions on how to run campaigns for the bill ahead of the referendum. They agreed to hold joint countrywide tours to marshall support.
Insiders detailed that they identified Coast as their first stopover, a region considered to be Odinga’s stronghold and one DP Ruto has been making inroads into.
“The leaders are looking at May 2021 as the month to conduct the referendum. They will hold joint tours to publicise the BBI Bill and also release a timetable as Parliament considers the Bill,” a source told a local daily.
Kenyatta and Odinga will meet all political leaders who support the project on Tuesday, March 9 where they will give the way forward and also celebrate the third anniversary of the handshake between the duo.
Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe confirmed that the event would take place, saying that it would be a symbolic meeting that would instill confidence in Kenyans who are still doubting the bill. He added that no BBI opponent would be invited to the function.
“Just like Ruto meets his allies at Karen, Uhuru will also meet like-minded leaders and then give the way forward,” he said at an interview on KTN News on Thursday, February 25.
BBI Secretariat Chairman, Dennis Waweru added that the team would identify regional leaders who will lead the campaigns in their areas.
DP Ruto skipped the State House BBI meeting, with reports alleging that he is undecided on whether to rally for or oppose the referendum. His allies are also divided on the project, with some pushing him to oppose it, others to reject it and some asking him to maintain his silence and campaign for 2022 elections.
A letter from his office indicated that they had requested 400 copies of the summary of the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2020, the Proposed BBI Legislative Bills (copies) together and the Abridged Report of the same for perusal and dissemination on Wednesday, February 24.
“The Office of the Deputy President requested the documents and after consultations, it was authorised. The documents were released as requested. The request letter was stamped and the officer took a copy,” a source privy to the developments said.
However, DP’s spokesperson Emmanuel Talam argued that the letter was fake and that Ruto does not have to request copies of documents he can easily access.