Meru leaders pledge to support BBI


Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi (center) consoles Bishop Lawi Imathiu (right). The governor said he would support BBI because it increases revenue to the counties.photo/Rugendo Antony
By Rugendo Antony
araneeto@gmail.com

A section of Meru leaders has expressed their support for the Building Bridges Initiative.

Speaking during the funeral service for Paul Imathiu, the son of BBI task force member Bishop Lawi Imathiu at Meru on Tuesday the leaders said BBI will benefit the residents.

They were led by, director of the influential Mount Kenya Foundation director Mutuma Nkanata, Imenti North MP Rahim Dawood, and Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama.

Mount Kenya Foundation is famous for its role in pushing and funding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 2017 campaign. The group formed in 2007 comprises mainly of tycoons who hail from Central Kenya and has been crucial in pushing the Jubilee agenda in the region.

Mr. Nkanata lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga for striking a deal to unite the country.

According to Nkanata, Mt. Kenya region interests are well captured in the BBI report.

He added that the region has been less share of National resources compared to other areas with fewer residents.

“The region is hard-pressed for development resources, yet some counties with fewer people get more cash. The value of the one-man one vote, one shilling is firmly entrenched in the BBI. We are happy that more leaders are joining in support of BBI,” said Nkanata.

Nkanata told off those still clamoring for further alteration of the document, which was handed to Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga at the Bomas of Kenya last month.

“People gave their views on what they wanted captured in the BBI. Then the report was taken back to the people for validation. You can never be in perpetual views taking. Will we be discussing views forever?” he posed

He noted that Gikuyu-Embu-Meru Association (Gema) presented the communities views to the BBI team, and asked residents and leaders in the region to back it.

“Gema and others raised their issues. They are well catered for in the BBI, those raising issues against the initiative were merely playing propaganda to sabotage the process,” he stated.

North Imenti MP Dawood said he fully supported Bishop Imathiu and his fellow BBI team members for coming up with the report.

“I am supporting it and I am extending my hand to Mheshimiwa Muriuki (former Imenti North MP Silas Muriuki), to join me in doing the BBI in North Imenti so we have a handshake and consensus to BBI,” Dawood said.

Earlier speaking Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi had said he would support BBI because it increases revenue to counties.

The governor who spoke four days ago while consoling Bishop Lawi Imathiu for losing his son dismissed claims that the BBI was meant to benefit people at the top, noting that the increase in money to the devolved units would improve the lives of people at the grassroots.

“If it (BBI) will increase my revenues from 15 percent to 35 percent, I will now be able to double the ward fund from Sh20 million to Sh40 million. That money will supply medicines to health centers, upgrade roads and install water facilities,” Kiraitu said.

The county boss asked Meru residents not to vote for BBI blindly, but ensure their interests are captured.

He said the fact that counties will have the assurance of getting at least 35 percent of national revenue will provide a financial cushion.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta will not be president after 2022. We do not know who will be the president of Kenya. We might get someone who will come and forget our interests, but we will have our resources,” he said.

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