Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has vowed to mobilize all local leaders in his county to rally behind the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
Wa Iria, who was addressing thousands of youth from the county, warned that divisions being witnessed among local leaders may lead to the sidelining of the region in the BBI debate.
The governor said that he will champion meetings to drum up support for the BBI not only in the county but in the entire Mount Kenya region.
Some locals, he said, are against the report yet they don’t know or say what is it that they are opposing.
The governor urged 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 final document.
Wa Iria was speaking on Friday, when more than 10, 000 youth from Murang’a graduated after undertaking short technical and artisan courses sponsored by the county government.
The ceremony, 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 said that there is nothing sinister in debating about the BBI report, 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 the 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 report,” the governor said.
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 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.