The United States Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter on Tuesday told Kenyan politicians not to hijack the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) debate but instead allow the public to freely engage on it.
McCarter said the ongoing debate on the future of the country was crucial and the voice of the ordinary citizen should become the outcome of the initiative.
“Politicians should step aside from BBI and let the public speak. The voice of the people is what should become the outcome of the BBI,” he said.
Speaking in Siaya town after paying courtesy calls on the Siaya County Commissioner (CC), Michael ole Tialal and the local Governor, Cornel Rasanga, the Ambassador said that the US government will continue supporting the initiative that aims at ensuring perpetual peace and unity in the country.
McCarter, who was flanked by his wife, Victoria, said that the American government had financed the BBI committee’s activities in the counties and will continue supporting its activities.
“It is not a secret that US did support BBI visits to counties financially. We want the conversation to take place but politicians must step aside and let the public speak,” he said.
On the reduced funding for health activities, McCarter said the US President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) programme had pumped over Sh. 750 billion into the country to help various HIV / AIDS and other health related programmes
He said that the programme has been successful as the number of those suffering from HIV/ AIDS related complications has reduced.
“We have generations of children who are alive because of PEPFAR,” he said, adding that it was now the responsibility of National and county governments to take over some of the responsibilities funded by the programme.
By Philip Onyango