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Mt. Kenya threatens to oppose BBI

Mt. Kenya region will oppose the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) if the extra 70 constituencies proposed in the BBI are scrapped, Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has said.

Wa Iria who spoke in Thika said the region was firmly behind BBI as shown while it was passed by the county assemblies and that they will not allow Members of Parliament to alter its contents.

The Governor said the debate by some MPs thinking that they may alter the additional constituencies was misguided and may work for the downfall of the document.

He said scrapping the constituencies denied the region equal representation, saying such a move would disadvantage it against other less-populated regions. He added that doing away with the provision would be unacceptable.

He said each county knows the number of extra constituencies that they will get and that it should remain that way.

“We passed it here in the counties knowing very well about its contents. Those thinking that they can alter the additional constituencies, they should think more.  They change, and we change our tune,” said Wa Iria.

The issue has elicited debate in both the National Assembly and the Senate with some parliamentarians arguing that creation of extra constituencies was the mandate of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and not parliament.

Others have raised concerns that the Mount Kenya region is set to benefit more from BBI if the extra constituencies are not scrapped, disadvantaging other parts of the country that need development.

The National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi yesterday ruled that the bill will not be amended. However, his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka is yet to rule on the matter.

Meanwhile, Wa Iria also hit out at MPs who were begging to deputize the Deputy President in 2022, saying they depicted the region as beggars.

He said the region has enough population to clinch the presidency and should be treated as such in negotiations to form the next government.

“Mt. Kenya region has more than 10 million votes and to clinch the Presidency, it has been established over the years that one needs about 7million votes. Then, how do some leaders move from hotels begging for posts? We are not beggars. We have the votes and resources,” Wa Iria said.

By Muoki Charles

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