Bomas Drama: Fiery Political Showdowns That Shook Iconic Arena

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at the BBI launch at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 26, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at the BBI launch at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 26, 2020.
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  • The BBI launch at the Bomas of Kenya  was a historic moment where the three main political figures President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga were in attendance 

    The trio separately spoke about the BBI with Kenyatta and Odinga seemingly supporting the document while DP Ruto expressing his reservations.

    The playout of division was a deja vu moment as the Bomas of Kenya has often played host to some of the country's sharpest debates including during talks that led to the current constitution. 

    DP Ruto Vs BBI

    DP William Ruto speaking at Bomas of Kenya
    DP William Ruto speaking at Bomas of Kenya on October 26, 2020.
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    This was the first platform where DP Ruto poked holes in the report in the presence of the President and the former Prime Minister.

    As he faulted a number of issues in the report, Ruto delved into his so-called hustler movement political agenda - drawing jeers from the crowd. 

    The Head of State insinuated that Ruto had abandoned the course making it difficult for him (Uhuru) to pass him the presidency.

    Likening his behaviour to that of a relay track runner, Uhuru noted that the DP was aggressively charting his own path parallel to what his government was trying to achieve.

    "This is a relay and we all know that in such a race, you cannot pass the button to someone who has chosen to run in the opposite direction," posed the President

    Kipchumba Murkomen Booed

    During the launch of the BBI Process in November 2019 at the Bomas of Kenya, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen found himself on the receiving end after he was booed in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Still, as the Bomas of Kenya, Murkomen, who was introduced to the podium by  Suna East MP Junet Mohamed expressed his disappointment in how the leaders were criticising those allied to DP Ruto.

    "We must have an honest discussion, even the way Junet you are running the program, we must have an honest discussion about it. Your Excellency, it would be a lie for me to leave this stage without saying that this program has been skewed to leave out people with different opinions," Murkomen stated.

    At this point, the crowd roared in disagreement, and only until the chairman of the BBI Team, Senator Yusuf Haji took to the stage that the audience calmed down.

    Uhuru vs Maraga 

    The showdowns have not always been between politicians. The President, in January 2019, told off Chief Justice David Maraga for accusing the executive of undermining the war against corruption.

    During the conference, Maraga accused critics of hiring bloggers to taint his name. His remarks were, however, shut down by the President who advised him to deal with it.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice David Maraga
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice David Maraga
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    “I found it very interesting. I saw you were very angry today especially with one group in our society called bloggers.

    "I remember there was a time we wanted to pass a law to stop these people from insulting all of us left right and centre but it was taken to the courts and the court declared it was unconstitutional. So just like the rest of us just get used to it,” the president responded amid laughter.

    2017 Presidential Results Announcement

    Before the results of the presidential results could be announced at Bomas of Kenya, NASA's Odinga had already alleged hacking of the system in favour of the President. 

    Odinga together with his brigade arrived at the IEBC's National Tallying Centre ahead of the announcement of the winner in the presidential election as did President Uhuru and his team.

    In the end, it was incumbent  Kenyatta who won as announced by (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

    According to the electoral body, Kenyatta garnered 8,203,290 votes (54.27%) while his closest rival opposition leader Raila Odinga amassed 6,762,254 votes (44.74%).

    Odinga's team claimed IEBC's system had been hacked and had their own version of results which showed that Odinga had emerged victorious.

    IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017, when Uhuru was announced winner of the presidential election.jpg
    IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, August 11, 2017, when Uhuru was declared winner of the presidential election.jpg
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    However, the county would later hold a repeat election after the results of the election were nullified by the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice David Maraga.