President Uhuru Kenyatta met with his deputy William Ruto in a 3-hour meeting at State House just a day before he launched the collection of 1 million signatures in support of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) setting the ground for a referendum.
According to sources, DP Ruto arrived at State House at 2 pm and after a discussion that lasted until 5 pm, a statement postponing the BBI signature launch was released.
Hours before the State House meeting, Ruto had reiterated his position that he would only support a non contested referendum, essentially meaning that opinions from different quarters would have to be considered.President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto share a light moment at State House NairobiFile
The discussion between the president and the DP fuelled talks of a possible compromise on the BBI.
"I love this country enough never to be part of any war. Not when there is a real possibility for a win-win consensus beckoning. An 'us vs them, yes/no' contest that will lead to a lose-lose outcome is unnecessary & unwarranted. A non-contested referendum is possible," Ruto had emphasized, before going into the meeting.
However, the deliberations that were held at the house on the hill remain a secret for the two Jubilee Party leaders after everyone else was asked to vacate the room.
When reached for comment, the DP’s Communications Director Emmanuel Tallam told the media, “How does it become news when Ruto and his boss meet? They serve in the same government.”
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen congratulated the Head of State for seemingly ceding ground and opening room for more deliberations about the contents of the report that aims to make constitutional changes.
Ruto and his allies have expressed reservations about proposals touching on the Judiciary, IEBC, youth, women leadership, the police service, county allocations and the role of senators as outlined in the BBI report
“I congratulate President Kenyatta for against all odds/pressure postponing the BBI signatures launch to provide room for consensus. This is the President I knew. Let’s now have a meaningful engagement for a win-win result. We only have one Kenya, let's listen to all voices,” he tweeted.
In a statement signed by BBI Secretariat Joint Secretaries, the launch of the collection of signatures had been postponed without providing a timeframe in which it was expected to resume.
"The postponement has been necessitated by late completion and publication of The Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 which is scheduled for printing tonight," the press release read.
The joint secretaries explained that the team was working on a new date with a comprehensive programme of rollout activities which would be communicated in due course.President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at the BBI launch at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 26, 2020.
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