Ruto's Allies Differ on Planned Succession Meeting

  • Deputy President William Ruto allies strongly contradicted each other over a planned meeting that would be held to outline how they would approach the enactment of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and the 2022 presidential succession.

    On Tuesday, December 3, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa informed that reports of a planned Naivasha retreat were baseless. The legislators are scheduled to meet on Thursday, December 5 to Friday, December 6.

    However, Jubilee nominated MP David Ole Sankok stated that the meeting was specifically for Rift MPs and not only those allied to Ruto. Sankok argued that leaders allied to Raila Odinga, such as Narok Senator Ledama Olekina would be in attendance. 

    Nominated MP David Ole Sankok (l) and Senator Ledama Olekina who on Tuesday, November 3, differed on a planned Naivasha retreat to discuss on BBI and 2022 presidential succession

    "We are going to discuss our region in terms of economic, social and political benefit. Rift Valley is the most cosmopolitan region and we are not Ruto's allies only. We will discuss the BBI and issue a common stand as right now we have none.

    "It's not the issue of Ruto's people meeting. We do not need a referendum to enact the BBI. We do not have that money. I want to convince my fellow leaders that enacting it through Parliament is the best approach," Sankok informed, adding that DP Ruto would not attend as it was for legislators only.

    ODM's Senator Ledama Olekina, however, disagreed with Sankok, affirming that the nominated legislator did not have the authority to speak on his behalf. Ole Kina further stated that he would reject BBI despite it being a brainchild of his party leader.

    "Odinga is a democrat and he allows us to air our divergent opinions. I am an elected leader and I represent fairly what I believe will be in the best interest of my people. 

    "I will call for a meeting soon to let the pastoralists know why we must resist BBI. It is skewed towards marginalising pastoralist communities and also because it is designed to create an imperial presidency," Olekina refuted while insisting that he would consult other pastoralist leaders like Garissa Town MP Aden Duale his Eldas counterpart Adan Keynan

    On Saturday, November 30, 29 members of the National Assembly and senators allied to Ruto met in Embu and vowed to snub Kenyatta's meetings citing humiliation.

    As part of their resolutions during the two-day retreat, the lawmakers demanded a separate referendum should not be pursued and if necessary, it should run alongside the 2022 general elections.

    The leaders, led by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga, further expressed that the implementation of the report should be carried out by a parliamentary task force and that it should prioritise economic development instead of adding more executive positions.

    Some Mt Kenya leaders who attended the Embu retreat held between Friday, November 29, and Saturday, November 30, 2019.