The pastoralist community from North Eastern region have been urged to rally behind the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) because they will benefit more if passed.
According to KANU chairman Gideon Moi, issues to do with pastoralism’s which is the economic backbone of the region are well captured in the document.
Speaking today at Garissa primary school playgrounds during a public rally to popularize the document Moi said unlike the current constitution the BBI has clearly spelt out measures to boost the sector.
Moi said that it will be unfortunate if the region fails to support the document which will among other things “turn around the economy of the region.”
“I am here today to make a passionate appeal to you the people of Garissa and North Eastern at large to join other Kenyans of goodwill in passing this document. We shall have failed as leaders if we don’t point out areas of benefit to you,” Moi said.
Moi who was accompanied by among other leaders area Governor Ali Korane, Kanu Secretary- General Nick Salat, Kanu MPs Abdikarim Osman, Mohamed Hire (Lagdera) and nominated Senator Abshiro Halake.
Korane said that as a region they have unanimously agreed to pass the document which he noted will improve on the current constitution.
The governor said the document proposes the establishment of a commission to address protracted border disputes, a problem that has dogged the region for a long time.
During a meeting with leaders from Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit and Isiolo interior CS Fred Matiang’i issued a directive to all chiefs in Isiolo and Garissa county to operate within their areas of jurisdiction.
The directive elicited sharp reactions from local leaders who urged the CS to rescind the directive because it was likely to result in clashes between the communities residing along the border. Already a case has been filed in a Nairobi high court to challenge the directive.
Korane said the issue should be put on hold until BBI is passed and then the commission given the chance to resolve the border dispute.
“We don’t mind if at the end of the day we lose the case. We want a fair hearing where we will be allowed to defend our case,” Korane said.
The Lagdera MP on his part said that the border dispute cannot and will never be resolved by government ‘directives and in boardrooms’.
Former Garissa Governor Nathif Jama said the border was such an emotive issue and should be handled with care.
“These two communities have co-exited peacefully for decades. The border has been there since independence. The chiefs have been there for years so when the minister tells the chiefs to leave I think that is not right. Thank God BBI will address all this,” Nathif said.
Nick Salat on his part said Kenyans have shown overwhelming support for the document expressing optimism that it will be passed by a majority vote.
There was some light scuffle between supporters of Governor Korane and former Governor Nathif, which briefly stopped the meeting. The situation was however contained by the police.
by Jacob Songok