We need constructive debate on BBI, not reggae threats- DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto has today told the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report proponents to tone down their threats and allow Kenyans to have a decent debate on the document.

Speaking in Matungu during a church service at Our Lady of Assumption Indangalasia Parish, the DP warned unnamed politicians against issuing threats of ‘nobody can stop reggae’ and allow Kenyans to read the report and see what is in it for them.

“Let us stop insults, threats and competition of nobody can stop reggae, we want an inclusive debate from all Kenyans small or powerful before we can take action on the proposed changes,” he said.

He said as was said by President Uhuru Kenyatta Kenyans should read the document and make recommendations on how they want to be governed.

“We want all Kenyans to be given an opportunity to be heard not threats of nobody can stop reggae,” he added

Poverty and unemployment

He, however, maintained that the BBI report must address the plight of millions of Kenyans locked out of the country’s economy circle by unemployment and poverty before it looks into leadership positions for politicians.

“Millions of Kenyans locked out of the economic cycle by poverty and unemployment must be given an opportunity and must have a say in the document,” Ruto said.

The DP faulted the inclusivity being fronted in the report saying it only talks about leaders and not the ordinary citizens.

He said the real inclusivity talk must focus on ordinary Kenyans suffering out there and not a few positions at the top for politicians.

“Before we bring together leaders in this inclusivity talk, we must talk about the ordinary Kenyans.”

Ruto said the discussion must first deal with youth unemployment and poverty before addressing issues of power if the report was to help Kenyans.

“As we debate the report we must be clear that there are issues that concern leaders and those that concern ordinary Kenyans and I feel we must start with hustlers first before we talk about positions,” he said.

Right to worship

The DP also told government officers to keep off matters of worship and going to church, saying freedom of worship is enshrined in the constitution and cannot be taken away by anyone.

He told Kenyans not to fall for the intimidation and threats, saying they are free to church without asking permission from anyone and must.

“We will go to church without asking for permission from anyone and will not fall to threats from those who don’t believe in God,” he said.

Ruto said Jubilee government was formed through prayers and cannot be used to frustrate the word of God.

“Kenya is God-fearing nation and we will worship God unconditionally without intimidation or rules on how to worship,” said Ruto.

Alternative proposals

However, speaking separately, National Assembly Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee vice-chairman Peter Kaluma has however asked BBI critics to give alternative proposals which can be captured in the BBI Referendum Bill.

Kaluma told those opposed to the report to present alternative recommendations to the BBI team instead of just opposing the report.

He said such views should be captured in the Bill whose final preparations begin tomorrow (Monday).

Conversations on contents of the Bill begin when President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga unveil the BBI report officially at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday.

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