DP William Ruto: I am not responsible for BBI defeat

Deputy President William Ruto has absolved himself from blame over the flop of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The DP said the bid to amend the Constitution did not take into account the opinions of majority of Kenyans including himself.

He said he could not have been wrong if the courts were in agreement with his stand that BBI had serious constitutional flaws.

“How can anybody hold it against me today that I did not support the BBI when I clearly stated my position on matters that are controversial and unconstitutional yet the court has vindicated me that BBI had constitutional challenges?” posed Dr Ruto.

Speaking at his Karen residence, Nairobi, yesterday, during a consultative meeting with grassroots and opinion leaders from Nyeri, Ruto said had proponents of BBI listened to the issues he raised, they would have come up with a document acceptable to all Kenyans.

At the launch of the BBI at Bomas of Kenya, Ruto took issue with six keys proposals.

He maintained that his critique of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was part of his mandate of advising the President on shortcomings of the initiative.

MPs Present during the Karen meeting were Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Rehema Mukami (Nyeri County), Rehema Jaldesa (Isiolo County), Halima Mucheke (Nominated), Falhada Iman (Nominated), Purity Ngirici (Kirinyaga County), Njuguna Wanjiku (Kiambaa), Anab Gure (Garissa County), John Muchiri (Manyatta), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula) and Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi Central).

“My responsibility as the Deputy President is to advise the president, in accordance with our Constitution, as I see it. And I did my duty and informed him of the mistakes in BBI. It would have been a big mistake if I had not raised the issues yet I knew they were there,” he said.

At the same time, the DP told his opponents he was not available for a shouting match as he “was busy with his bottom-up economic revolution.”

He challenged his competitors to seek an alternative agenda instead of engaging in character assassination.

“I have seen some members of the opposition trying to have me engage them in an altercation, sorry I am going to disappoint you, I am busy with the bottom-up economic revolution,” he said.

Gachagua said Mt Kenya leaders and their supporters will rally behind Ruto on account of his issue-based agenda.

The Mathira MP noted that despite Mt Kenya holding top government positions including the presidency, the residents continue to suffer evidenced by the recent demolition of kiosks and homes.

“We are not going to have negotiations about positions of power, we want a conversation about the needs of our people. We will form a government that supports small business owners, not one that demolishes their businesses,” he said.

Ms Falhada asked those opposed to the bottom-up economic model to stop unnecessary insults. “We must have a different conversation, the bottom-up economic model. It’s unfortunate that some leaders opposed to the idea have resorted to unsavoury language,” she said.

Ms Ngirici lauded the DP for spearheading the economic model, saying it will empower Kenyans.

“Thank you Dr Ruto for freeing us from the cabals that had held us hostage for far too long,” she said.

Ms Mucheke asked Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to stop insulting Ruto and instead focus on his political future.

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