Despite the West Pokot County assembly passing the Building Bridges Bill [BBI] bill two weeks ago, a section of residents in the County have come out guns blazing vowing to shoot down the document during the referendum.
West Pokot County which is perceived to be a political turf of Deputy President William Ruto was among the first Counties to approve the constitutional amendment 2020 bill in the Rift valley.
The residents who are angry with the members of the County assembly blamed them for rushing to pass the bill without consulting with them. They said that the MCAs passed the bill because of their own interests.
More than 40 County assemblies across the country have passed the document surpassing the 24 counties’ requirement for the bill to qualify for the referendum. Speaking to the press yesterday in Kapenguria, residents led by a women link leader Ms. Jane Longronyang, threatened to punish all members of the County assembly by sending home packing all those MCAs who passed the bill plus area leaders who supported them.
Ms. Longronyang claimed that the MCAs were manipulated and corrupted by a section of area leaders to pass the document that has been rejected by residents. “We don’t know the meaning of BBI. Even if it has been said that it was passed but residents have not passed it. We as women are not aware,” she said.
She faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta for sidelining other areas in the country in engaging Kenyans on the document. “The President should come to West Pokot, sleep for three days as he did in Mt Kenya. Am ready to welcome him minus the politicians. He used to come here during the campaigns and now he has not stepped hereafter we re-elected him thrice,” she said.
She claimed that the head of state should act as the President of Kenya. “Let him accompany Ruto when coming here. We want to see them together and not the wrangles we are seeing. You came with him and promised to support him. He should move around the whole country,” she said.
Ms. Longronyang pointed out that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s father, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was jailed in West Pokot yet Kapenguria Museum has not been included in the BBI document.
“West Pokot women are not learned and how will they vie for elective positions with the BBI. They should bring back the 2010 constitution. For instance, I want to vie but I have no education. I was married off at my tender age. We are told to go for adult education, do we pay fees for our children or we sit in class, ’asked Longronyang.
A politician Sammy Paron said that there are no BBI copies in the area and residents have not read the document adding that the document will be a burden to Kenyans by creating many positions.
A youth leader Jeffery Kibet Masaka said that the BBI document is not public demand and priority.
“ We are the taxpayers. The finding on the ground showed that 31 % passed 38% no, 28% not aware,8% are in need of the BBI copies,” he said.
He noted that BBI will bring a bloated cabinet and make Kenyans pay more. Kibet castigated a section of leaders who went to the assembly during the voting to pass the document arguing that they went to intimidate the MCAs. “It seems the MCAs were given something. The speaker messed up. They should leave people to exercise their democratic right,” he concluded.