By Alfred Maina
Scores of politicians on Monday thronged Murang’a County for the burial of Senator Irungu Kangata’s father.
Kang’ata’s father, Joseph Irungu, died on February 16 at the Oakwood Hospital in Karen, Nairobi, after battling throat cancer. He was 81 years old.
But during the funeral service on Monday at Mumbi Catholic Church, speaker after speaker focussed on the Building Bridges Initiative.
Several speakers also spoke out against Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina over comments he made last week before and during the BBI rally in his county.
The leaders criticized Ole Kina, claiming he was inciting the Maa people against other communities living in Narok County over his comments on land ownership and use.
The only two notable politicians who missed the burial were President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, who remained in Nairobi to welcome German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at State House.
President Kenyatta sent his condolence message through Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia but also took the opportunity to talk about the BBI.
Other prominent leaders who attended the burial included Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.
Here is what the leaders said:
CS James Macharia
Here is has the message from the President.
He called on politicians to think about the common man and challenges facing them before propagating so much on their interests.
Let’s have Wanjiku’s interests enshrined in the BBI through you, politicians.
Many countries are admiring Kenya for the handshake.
We agreed with Uhuru that Kenyans could only be united while leaders sit together and that is why we formed a committee led by Yusuf Haji to draft the BBI report.
BBI rally will be at Nyeri on March 7.
Let’s deliberate how we can build a strong bond for democracy. Let people say what they want included. A democratic conversation and not name-calling.
BBI report is not for me or Uhuru. It’s for the prosperity of the people of Kenya.
We have always been propagating for changes since independence. But anytime changes are about to be effected, we always fight.
The President has given us a chance for a sober discussion.
I call on politicians to stop fighting each other on the BBI report but to effect changes that can help Kenyans.
Let’s all agree that we must effect changes in the Constitution.
We also need a date for Central Kenya to discuss the BBI report.
Many countries are admiring and benchmarking with Kenya as a country for bringing together the two leaders, Uhuru and Raila.
I agree with Peter Kenneth that we must respect the President.
He also hit out at Raila that he joined the government alone and sidelined Mudavadi, Kalonzo and others, challenging him to bring them on board.
He openly tells Raila Odinga not to indulge in petty politics.
I will be attending all BBI rallies apart from the Narok one which I avoided due to a hatched plot to cause violence. Let us meet Meru County next weekend.
Let politicians not change the narrative of BBI that it’s aiming at creating a parliamentary system. The Central region is not targeted as many are claiming.
I am humbly requesting Kenyans to forge ahead and not turn against each other as all we want peace. We will not doctor the BBI report by adopting a parliamentary system.
All we want is to bring the executive back in Parliament by taking CSs from elected leaders.
BBI must emphasize on one man one vote.
National cake must be divided as per the number of residents of every region, not per square feet size.
The economic status of Kenyans must be considered first before BBI looks into Political status.
Tangatanga is the camp that is likely to form the next government and Kenyans must have a chance to elect their own President.
Farmers must have guaranteed minimum returns that should be included in the BBI report
Mt. Kenya leaders will no longer take it kindly that other leaders from other regions are threatening to flush out our community members from their region. We will not.
A process that is supposed to be uniting the country is clearly taking a very partisan approach.
I have been very supportive but I will no longer support it when Ole Kina is inciting Maa people.
Let’s have a summit that will bring together all these leaders, Raila, Mudavadi, Uhuru and others and not just push it down the throat of Kenyans.
Kenyans are not tired of voting for a President and let’s not introduce to them the parliamentary system of governance.
Kisii people are grateful to the President for appointing Interior Cabinet Secretary Matiangi, who has been a performer in the government.
Raila vied for the Presidency and later decided to shake hands with the President. Why are others who did not even participate in the race keep on urging and fighting the union? “Pilipili usioila, yakuwasha nini?” asked the Kisii senator?
Handshake purported to be of goodwill but there are people abusing that privilege, especially in BBI rallies where they use the platform to insult others.
Cheruiyot hit out at Raila, saying for having claimed his election was stolen yet he attends the BBI meetings.
He said that BBI should unite Kenyans