The BBI task force is expected to hand its report to Uhuru and Raila on Tuesday, November 26. Manyora said the BBI recommendations will be presented to the president in his official capacity as head of state. This, he claimed, will put Ruto in a tight situation since he will be opposing an initiative fronted by a government he is part of. He is, however, emphatic that BBI is unpopular as compared to Punguza Mizigo and thus proponents will have a hard task to win voters’ support.
The lecturer points out calamity still lurks even if Uhuru and Raila will have their way during a referendum. Manyora insisted there is need for Uhuru and Raila to bring Ruto on board and find a way to move into the future as a team.
Political commentator Herman Manyora has said Deputy President William Ruto is staring at a bumpy ride if he sticks to opposing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) even after report is unveiled.
According to Manyora, the BBI, which is receiving massive support from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, among other political heavyweights, will be presented as a government project. This, he opined, will throw Ruto in a catch 22 situation in which he will be seen as a man against the agenda of a government he is part of if he insists on opposing recommendations of the report.
“Things will become more difficult for William Ruto after the release of the report. This is being presented as a government project. Then how does the deputy president of the Republic of Kenya come out openly to oppose that which is being presented as a government project.
Remember the BBI team was gazetted. The BBI team has used public funds. The BBI is being handed over to the President in his official capacity and therefore, this initiative is a government initiative. How will the DP oppose the initiative if he is part of government?” Manyora posed.
The University of Nairobi (UoN) lecturer, however, noted it is not only the anti-BBI brigade that will be facing a hard time but also the proponents who will have to convince Kenyans to vote in its favour. Manyora asserted the initiative was unpopular on the ground as compared to Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo Bill.
“It has nothing to do on whether or not BBI is good. Even as the President questions some people on why they are criticising that which they don’t know, others are equally asking, why is he supporting that which he doesnt know. If it were subjected to a vote, it will fail.
This is because BBI is currently as unpopular as Punguza Mizigo was popular on the ground. It was popular without necessarily being a good thing. In fact, if you ask me, I would say there were so many flaws in the Punguza Mizigo Bill yet it was that popular. We dont know what is contained in the BBI but those fronting it must know that they have a serious task ahead of them,” the don said.
The analyst was nonetheless quick to mention that if the report is read and understood as a good thing by the public, then it will most likely sail through. Its success, he argued, will be influenced by state machinery and resources that will be directed in championing for the course of the BBI.
“State power and muscles will have been brought together and that will push it towards acceptability,” he said.
As to why he thought the BBI may see the light of the day if a referendum is to be held by mid 2020, Manyora held there is the possible emergence of tribal or regional forces from both factions.
The second in command with his anti BBI team, according to Manyora, may enjoy massive support from the Rift Valley and Central regions. He observed Mount Kenya might turn its back on the man from Sugoi in case the BBI insinuates Uhuru might land a prime minister slot after 2022 General Election.
Other regions, for instance, Coast, Western, Eastern and Nyanza might end up supporting BBI courtesy of firebrands like Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, trade unionist Francis Atwoli, Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila respectively.
“I am, however, urging these three leaders to find a way of working together and find in their hearts space for each other. This country needs the three gentlemen to sit and work together so that even if we are suspending democracy briefly, we will be doing so in the interests of this country.
That is the only way to avoid friction in 2022.
I think the only way to forestall a criss in the country from the BBI to 2022 elections is for the three to so it together. Ruto should also undertand that the country is bigger than self. The greater challenged is, however, to Uhuru and Raila to find a way of talking to Ruto so that we are one country. We need this today than anyother day before in the history of our nation,” he concluded.