Raila affirms Narok BBI meeting is open to all
By Obegi Malack
State House has summoned leaders over Building Bridges’ Initiative rally in Narok following remarks made by Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina which have caused uproar.
Governor Joseph ole Lenku and Kajiado North Joseph Manje are among leaders who have been summoned for Thursday’s meeting in State House.
Lenku said president Uhuru Kenyatta had a discussion with him on Thursday 20th morning about BBI issues and invited him to State House.
Ledama had said Manje cannot articulate Maa issues in BBI and is only Maa leaders that can do that.
The senator had suggested that the meeting will only address land use policy and other issues affecting the Maasais, which he said has been marginalized.
Lenku, who presided over county bursaries and scholarships in Kajiado North at Rongai social hall condemned Ledama utterances. He said every leader should be allowed to attend the meeting and present proposals including Manje.
He noted that land issues the leaders are pushing are not about individual titles deeds and should not be used against individual rights.
The governor said he will lead people from his county to the Saturday BBI meeting adding that freedom of expression is allowed and all residents will always be given a platform to present their proposals.
“When we were fighting in 2007 the senator was in America, he is aloof from happenings in Kenya,” Lenku said.
He said no leader will be allowed to disrupt peace in the South Rift counties noting that he has already received Kajiado North memoranda, which he has briefed the president. It was presented on Monday at Smith hotel by residents.
Manje said Ledama’s utterances are unfortunate and he will represent his sub county in the meeting.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has issued a statement disowning Ledama’s extreme utterances on the Narok rally and invited all communities that reside in the Maa counties to attend the meeting.
“Given the cosmopolitan nature of the seven counties to be represented at this meeting, Odinga urges the coordinators of the two-day event to ensure participants reflect particularly the ethnic and occupational diversities of the counties to include ethnic minorities, herdsmen, farmers, women and the youth,” Odinga said in a statement released by his spokesperson Dennis Onyango.
Odinga assured the residents of the seven counties and their representatives that all efforts are being made to create room for all view points, concerns and interests to be discussed openly and constructively in a way that leaves the regions feeling united and involved in the making of a new Kenya.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has also condemned the Senator’s remarks.
“We strongly condemn such utterances that may hinder cohesion in the country. We urge Kenyans to maintain peace and continue engaging in the BBI process even as we look into the matter,” NCIC statement read. Narok County will host the fifth BBI Public consultation forum in Narok Town on Friday, starting with a delegates meeting, followed by a public rally on Saturday