African Union envoy, Raila Odinga, and former Kakamega Senator, Boni Khalwale, were expected to hold parallel meetings on the Building Bridges Initiative on Saturday, January 18.
Odinga led a brigade of leaders at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega Town while Khalwale with some local leaders assembled in Mumias, despite the police banning his meeting over security threats.
Khalwale, on Thursday, January 16, affirmed the Mumias meeting would go on despite the ban, stating that he had mobilised local leaders from Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga counties.
He further informed that Amani National Congress leader, Musalia Mudavadi, and Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetangula would attend the meeting. However, Citizen TV reported that the two NASA co-principals had abandoned Khalwale's event in favour of the BBI meeting.
In this live blog, Kenyans.co.ke, provides you with the by-the-minute coverage of the two events.
4:00 pm.: Raila Odinga disclosed how other nations admired the BBI, adding that they had received an offer to address a breakfast meeting in Washington DC, United States.
He also recalled the events preceding the handshake, how he won a case battle against Kenyatta in the Supreme Court to his infamous swearing-in ceremony at Uhuru Park. However, according to him, all those events divided the nation and the only way to heal wounds was partnering with Kenyatta.
"We wanted a long-lasting solution. Every crisis has a silver lining and it offers an opportunity and that's how the BBI was hatched. Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. This is the time of the BBI. We still have issue despite having a new constitution. Something is amiss. What I am doing with Kenyatta is for the posterity of Kenya," Odinga affirmed.
3:40 pm.: COTU boss Francis Atwoli disclosed how he convinced Mudavadi to attend the Bukhungu Stadium BBI meeting while blasting DP Ruto for allegedly being corrupt and that he would never be president in 2022.
"I spoke to Mudavadi and I am glad he listened to me. Mudavadi and Wetangula are clean leaders, they have never stolen a dime. Ruto's team almost corrupted Mudavadi when they called him to Sugoi and dinned with him. Get out of Ruto's corner, Mudavadi please get out of it" Atwoli urged.
He further warned Mudavadi and Wetangula that the duo was confusing themselves by trying to play divisive politics.
"If they want us to believe that they are united, Musalia should dissolve ANC and Wetangula should dissolve Ford-Kenya so that they form one party, otherwise they are lying to themselves," he argued.
3:20 pm.: Musalia Mudavadi spoke out against divisive politics, in a thinly veiled attack at Boni Khalwale.
"When Kenyatta and Raila launched BBI, some of us were given a chance to speak at the venue and I encouraged Kenyans to read it and analyse it. So who are you to stand and state that Mudavadi rejected BBI? Let us desist from divisive politics and work together. I spoke to the people of Mumias and told them that we do not need to shed blood.
"I have walked with Odinga for long and we have brushed shoulders a number of times. However, some people here think otherwise," Mudavadi disclosed.
3:11 pm.: Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetangula, stated that he and Musalia Mudavadi had a right to attend the BBI meeting.
"BBI was hatched due to election malpractices It is not about leaders. It's about the people of Kenya. It's about inclusivity and we want to see justice for all. Nobody will divide us," Wetangula stated, adding that he didn't have a rift with Raila Odinga.
3:06 pm.: Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta's partnership with Raila Odinga.
2:40 pm.: Jubilee Nominated MP, Maina Kamanda, launched an attack on former Agriculture CS, Mwangi Kiunjuri, lauding President Uhuru Kenyatta for sending the CS packing.
"Kenyatta sent a thief home. A thief who was stealing from us at the agriculture docket," Kamanda proclaimed.
2:20 pm.: Kimilili MP, Didmus Barasa, spoke out against police disbanding them from meeting in Mumias" after they hurled teargas at Echesa's mini-rally.
"Today there are innocent Kenyans losing lives over terrorism, yet the government sends police to find farmers. It's a big shame for them," Echesa slammed.
2:12 pm.: Citizen TV reported that police lobbed teargas to disperse the crowd at Ekero junction in Mumias where former CS Rashid Echesa was delivering a speech.
1:30 pm.: Khalwale informed Kenyans.co.ke that according to reports he received, Washiali was arrested by the police. He added that the police denied that they have Washiali in detention.
1: 26 pm.: Gatundu South MP, Moses Kuria, also alleged that Washiali was missing.
1:25 pm.: Former Sports CS, Rashid Echesa claimed that Mumias East MP, Benjamin Washiali was missing. He gave the police two hours to release details of his whereabouts.
"IG Hillary Mutyambai should come out from his safe gimmicks and tell us where they took Washiali after abducting him from his home at midnight. Holding him hostage in undisclosed place is a clear violation of Chapter 4 of our Constitution! There will be consequences after our deadline expires," Echesa dared.
1:18 pm.: Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala addressed the multitude, stating that the Luhya community supported the BBI.
"In 2022, the Luhya nation must be in government and the only way for us to do it is to support the BBI. If there is a Luhya leader who does not support it should be whipped thoroughly and sent away, but we will also listen to their ideas," Malala declared.
12:50 pm.: K24 reports that Sirisisia MP, John Walukhe and Washiali, moved towards Harambee Grounds 10 kilometres from the Nabongo Grounds, where they had planned to hold the parallel rally after they found police at their earlier venue. Walukhe rode on a boda boda to Harambee Grounds.
The police are trailing them.
12:30 pm.: Odinga, Mudavadi and Wetangula arrived at Bukhungu Stadium for BBI meeting.
12:20 pm.: Khalwale and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali speak to journalists in Mumias, over their parallel rally.
"We have over 20 delegates and 15 MCAs with us here. Only Busia County is not represented here but they sent us a message to support us. We are the leaders and we decided to come here to conduct a rally over the declining status in Kakamega County.
"We planned this meeting before Raila Odinga's meeting," Washiali stated while standing alongside Boni Khalwale and Sirisia MP, John Walukhe.
12:00 pm.: Leaders started arriving at Bukhungu Stadium for Odinga's BBI rally. Among the leaders present are Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and her Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and COTU leader Francis Atwoli.
11:10 a.m: Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria weighs in on Wetangula and Mudavadi's u-turn and decision to attend the BBI event. "My good friends Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Masika Wetangula. You have several children with Raila Odinga out of political wedlock. 2007, 2013, 2017 and you are still visiting Baba’s bedroom ‘to borrow a novel, nothing else',".
10:50 a.m: Police dismiss reports indicating that a school bus heading to Bukhungu Stadium was set on fire in Mumias.
“No bus has been torched as reported in social media, we are on top of everything and will not allow any breach of peace,” the police report read.
10:30 a.m: Citizen TV reports that Mudavadi and Wetangula will attend the BBI meeting in Kakamega; the duo was to lead a parallel meeting in Mumias against Raila’s event.
10:10 a.m: Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen trolls the heavy police presence in Mumias.
"Fellow Kenyans, BBI is the only way to end violence and politics of exclusion. We must create a nation of only one democratic idea. We’re uniting this country by force. We have deployed our officers to ensure that no other idea thrives but only BBI. Anyone defying will be dealt with ruthlessly," Murkomen asserted.
8:00 a.m: Kakamega residents start streaming into Bukhungu Stadium ahead of Odinga's BBI meeting.
7:00 a.m: Heavy police presence spotted at Nabongo Grounds, Mumias, Kakamega County following the cancellation of the event at the location by the authorities.
Here are some key stories that highlighted events preceding the parallel meetings
- lanes22 October 2020 - 3:47 pm
- My Turn22 October 2020 - 3:15 pm
- Exams Plea22 October 2020 - 3:07 pm
- dead end22 October 2020 - 2:45 pm
- level up22 October 2020 - 2:34 pm
- Heartwarming22 October 2020 - 2:25 pm
- in large numbers22 October 2020 - 1:57 pm
- Old is gold22 October 2020 - 1:32 pm
- U-Turn22 October 2020 - 2:09 pm
- mearge22 October 2020 - 1:13 pm
- balling22 October 2020 - 12:50 pm
- Blunder22 October 2020 - 11:26 am