Raila, Ruto to Light Up Joint BBI Rally - Kuria

  • Deputy President William Ruto and African Union envoy Raila Odinga are set to share the podium for the first ever at a Building Bridges Initiative rally, in the much-anticipated event slated for Meru County.

    On Thursday, February 13, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria was the bearer of the good tidings, enthusiastically announcing the news via Facebook.  

    The event scheduled for Saturday, February 29, would be the first to be held in Mt Kenya, a region DP Ruto seemingly enjoys massive support from.

    (Left) Kipchumba Murkomen arrives at Kitui BBI rally. (Right) Moses Kuria seats on the floor after being roughed up at the rally on Saturday, February 1

    "The Meru BBI rally will be the best so far. If inclusivity is one of the aspirations of the BBI, this will be the hallmark of the Meru rally with DP William Ruto set to attend for the first time alongside former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. 

    "This is the Kenya we want," Kuria asserted.

    While speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, February 14, Kuria added that the two camps had jointly organised the meeting and that the outcome of the Meru rally would shape how the rest would be organised. 

    ODM communications director, Philip Etale asserted that the event was indeed a national event and all parties were allowed to grace it. He, however, distanced himself from Kuria's assertions.

    "I am not aware of this new development. Kuria speaks for the DP, he should be the one to elaborate. But I thought BBI was a national initiative and everyone is free to be part of it," Etale stated. 

    In the past rallies held at Kisii, Kakamega, Mombasa and Kitui Counties, Odinga led a brigade of politicians, with a majority being those aligned to himself and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    DP Ruto's allies who attended the meeting, led by Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Moses Kuria were severally heckled. Kuria was almost thrown out of the Kitui rally held on Saturday, February 1, with the area Governor Charity Ngilu leading the onslaught. Odinga's camp argued that Kuria and Murkomen reportedly arrived late at the event to cause a commotion. 

    Kuria and Murkomen were also denied a chance to speak, as the event was dominated by Odinga, Kenyatta's and Gideon Moi's allies. This was despite the fact that Ruto allies, on Friday, January 31, had announced the cancellation of all parallel rallies to help popularise the initiative.  

    Ruto, while on an interview with NTV's Ken Mijungu on Thursday, January 23, argued that he rejected Odinga's handshake proposal and did not regret it.

    "I saw someone saying that I looked for him before I approached Kenyatta. I did not approach anyone. It was an agreement between me and the president," Odinga countered Ruto's claims.

    Upon being asked whether he would attend BBI rallies by Ken Mijungu, Ruto asserted that he would consult Kenyatta first before making a move.

    Odinga on his part, has been at the forefront of pushing the BBI agenda, always asserting that the initiative was out to unite Kenyans. 

    AU envoy Raila Odinga (center) and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (on Raila's right) arrives in Kitui County on Saturday, February 1