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Wa Iria vows to unite local leaders over BBI

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has vowed to mobilise all local leaders to speak in one voice on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

Wa Iria stated on Friday when he met thousands of youth from the county that divisions witnessed among local leaders may render the region to be sidelined in the BBI debate.

He said he will champion meetings to drum up support for the BBI not only in the county but in entire Mount Kenya region.

Some locals, he said, are against the report even without pointing out what in the report they are not happy with.

The governor told leaders not to mislead locals about the report saying the final report is yet to be drawn and thus leaders are free to give their opinion on what they want to be removed or factored in the report.

He spoke when more than 10, 000 youth from the county graduated after undertaking short technical and artisan courses sponsored by the county government.

The occasion also attended by a section of local elected leaders was also meant to incorporate youth in drumming up support for BBI.

Wa Iria said all elected leaders from the county were invited but some opted to stay away from the meeting which was also attended by Cabinet Secretaries, Joe Mucheru (ICT) and his Transport counterpart James Macharia.

He observed there is nothing sinister in debating about the BBI adding that as the county chief, he will not allow any leader to hold a parallel rally on BBI.

“Every meeting about BBI, I will be there but we will not have parallel meetings so leaders thinking they will hold their meeting and use such forum to abuse the President will not be allowed,” added Wa Iria.

He further said, “if the leaders are truly sincere about championing the welfare of their people, then let them bring their grievances in the BBI forums to be factored before a decision is arrived on whether to or not have a plebiscite.”

Leaders who attended included the county woman representative Sabina Chege, MPs Joseph Nduati (Gatanga) and Ruth Mwaniki (Kigumo) with Mathioya MP Peter Kimari and his Kangema counterpart Muturi Kigano sending apologies.

MPs, Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Mary Waithera (Maragua) failed to turn up for the meeting which was held at Mumbi grounds.

The MPs who abstained are ardent supporters of Deputy President William Ruto and are among those vowing to hold parallel BBI forums.

Wa Iria said he will engage all community leaders and members of eminent persons from the county led by founder of Equity Bank Peter Munga so as to state what benefits the community can accrue from BBI.

“I will bring together community leaders, members of the Kikuyu council of elders, members of eminent persons and the clergy so as to make sure the needs of the local people are taken care of in the BBI,” added the Governor.

On her part, Chege asked all leaders from the county to support and respect the President saying it is a shame for some leaders to go to public rallies to insult the Head of State.

Chege said the BBI should ensure one man, one vote, one shilling is well taken care of saying Mount Kenya region has many votes which should be considered.

She asked leaders allied to the deputy president to consider joining others and debate maturely about the BBI saying the report is for all Kenyans and not for some parts of the country.

By Bernard Munyao

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