Opinion

There is still time to secure BBI goodies for Mt Kenya region -Dennis Waweru

By Dennis Waweru

The Court of Appeal may have paused reggae for the moment but it also opened the window for deeper regional conversation on best alternate ways of securing Building Bridges Initiative promise for Mt Kenya region.

As the initiative’s co-chair, I assure you that all is not lost, the upset suffered at the court grants the region a grand opportunity to best secure a firm place in succession politics.

While the fight moves to the country’s Supreme Court, the initiatives prime movers are also repositioning Mt Kenya’s bargaining power to capture and embrace the vision of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The secretariat has since enjoined itself with the ongoing appeal lodged by the Attorney General’s office. We believe we stand a better chance at the country’s apex court which is also preparing to handle any petitions arising from next year’s presidential poll.

I reiterate that BBI was, and still our best bet to secure our interests as a people. We stand to lose the most if we give up this fight. This is the more the reason we cannot afford to drop our guard, or stop thinking of alternative routes to achieve the same.

Despite impressive population numbers, immense contribution to the country’s growth and its pressing needs, our region has been done in, for years, by ever shifting project of building the nation.

Devolution and its lofty promise notwithstanding, came to dispossess the region at the expense of other regions. Before it, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) successively discriminated the region, festering a fresh historical grievance while purporting to cure an old one.

This explains why a constituency like Garissa continues to receive ten times more CDF in absolute numbers compared to Ruiru. We are saying Garissa should be able to receive what is due unto it, but not at the expense of Ruiru. It is that simple.

Accordingly, anybody not raising or addressing these issues in the ongoing jostling for succession slots on behalf of the region is taking the mountain for a ride. They are sacrificing regional needs in the altar of self preservation.

We want to make our issues a number one priority. We have been taken for a ride for so long, this time round we are not dropping our eyes on the ball. Before you come to us, tell us where you stand on these issues… one man one shilling.

Iam impressed that in the wake of the two court losses some Central leaders are beginning to come to terms with what the region stands to lose, and are readjusting their positions. This is most welcome and are ready and willing to embrace those who had been misled.

They are now beginning to realize we need to stand together, and rally behind clear, concrete, irreducible minimums. We are in government and we know where the problem is. The time to secure our best interest as a region is now, not tomorrow.

The alternative is for every leader in the region to sit in their respective corners, fight for their space in emerging political groupings, and with it sink the mountain’s best prospects for redressing past injustices, for good.

The region will be then be laughed at in days to come, as one that slept through its chance to correct historical wrongs. Future generations will find it hard to come to terms with this betrayal.

This alternative is not viable as far as we are concerned. We are intensifying our unity bid, drawing more leaders to the side of the people, and spreading this awareness across the length and breadth of our land.

Hon Waweru, a former MP for Dagoretti South has been a core member of President Kenyatta’s inner circle since 2018. He was deeply involved in agitation of Central Kenya grievances in the period leading up to drawing of BBI bill.

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