UPDATE: Senate Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang'ata acknowledged that the letter he addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta was legit and that he authored it. However, he denied leaking it to the media.
"Kindly though, the letter dated December 30 (2020) is authentic. I didn't give it to the media. Someone else who had been copied did. I apologise for that.
"With the benefit of hindsight, I should have copied no one else. Trust substantive issues raised in the letter will be remedied," he tweeted on Monday, January 4.
Earlier on, a letter from his office and bearing his signature quoted Kang'ata distancing himself from the controversial letter alleging that it was fake. The statement sent to all newsrooms indicated that the Senator denied any knowledge of the letter and argued that it was a ploy devised by his opponents to discredit him and the BBI process.
A leaked letter, written by Senate Majority Chief Irungu Kang'ata and addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta has indicated that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is bound to fail in the Mount Kenya region.
In the letter seen by Kenyans.co.ke dated December 30, 2020, the Murang'a Senator revealed that a survey conducted by his office established the report's unpopularity in the region, straining the chances of a referendum sailing through in the region.
In a rare and bold move, Kang'ata told President Kenyatta that the provincial administration's role in the BBI process was contributing to its unpopularity.Murang'a County Senator Irungu Kang'ata pictured in the signature collection exercise on November 29, 2020.
"The role of the provincial administration & other forms of hard tactics in BBI mobilization is being framed as an example of government using its hard power to force citizens to endorse BBI. I propose we find ways of government wears velvet gloves."
"Based on a survey I conducted during the December 2020 holidays, I have to the conclusion, BBI is unpopular in Mt Kenya... Out of every 10 persons I surveyed, six opposed it, two support it, and two others are indifferent," his letter read in part.
The senator revealed that a bulk of the six that support the report were women and the youth. He stated that a majority of men above the age of 60 support the report, however, highlighting the report's popularity was not in proportion with education levels.
"Your excellency, I concede, I may be wrong. In fact, I wish I was wrong and that my views are merely pessimistic view of things. However, if I am right and we do not take urgent remedial measures, I will pin myself permanently in the pillar of spectacular shame," Kang'ata stated.
He, however, argued that the findings of his report did not indicate the BBI's failure on a national scale, rather his observations from Central Kenya.
Kang'ata's letter highlighted the deepening cracks in the Jubilee administration with leaders from various political camps having mixed reactions.
Nyeri Town Member of Parliament Ngunjiri Wambugu, a perceived insider of President Kenyatta, criticised Kang'ata's decision to conduct a survey on the report and accused the Murang'a Senator of leaking the letter to the public. He termed the letter as misguided.
"Majority Whip Senator Kang'ata can write a letter to our Party Leader and President criticising a decision the President has made and then not only leak it to the press and share it only but also seek media interviews to discuss it," Ngunjiri argued.
He alluded to the Jubilee Party making mistakes while changing leadership changes in Parliament.
Wambugu argued that Kang'ata's findings only indicated that the BBI report had between 10 and 20 per cent support in the region was positive as they were yet to conduct public sensitization ad education on the report in the region.
"At a time when we have not distributed amendment copies there effectively, have not done civic proper education, without a joint Mt Kenya team selling BBI properly. When we fix these issues - and I am sure we will shortly.
"We are guaranteed to easily hit the 50 or 60 per cent mark within a month," Ngunjiri remarked.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria applauded Kang'ata bold missive, saying it merely confirmed what leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto had been saying since the start of the BBI process.
"1st December 2020 I said it. 3rd January 2021 Sen Kangata has confirmed it. Now that a system insider (Not Deplorables like me) has said it I hope someone listens- and acts on it," Kuria opined.
Jubilee Deputy Secretary General Caleb Kositany equally supported the Senate Majority whip.
"This is most welcome, I just hope Hon Kang'ata is not in trouble. My question is what’s the reaction of the deep state boys and girls?" Kositany opined.
Kang'ata's report on the BBI's popularity proceeds numerous meetings between ODM Leader Raila Odinga and KANU's Gideon Moi with leaders and elders from the region in a bid to popularise it in the region.ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and James Ngethe, a representative of the Council of Eminent Persons of Murang’a, conduct a ceremonyDaily Nation
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