After three years of fighting the process and castigating the manner in which it was birthed, Deputy President William Ruto’s allies on Thursday had an opportunity to shoot down the BBI bill in one voice. Just like they have been doing on political podiums and rallies, but they did not.
However, this was not the case on Thursday. Out of a list of 130MPs leaning towards the DP, only 83 voted against the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020. The most prominent voices being Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri and Msambweni’s Feisal Abdallah, whom the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) took credit for his Msambweni win last year December.
On Wednesday night, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga issued a joint statement to appeal to MPs to uphold the document’s support, after it was endorsed by over 3M Kenyans during the collection of signature stage.
”We are making a joint appeal to members of the National Assembly and the Senate to join the 3,188,001 Kenyans who supported the Bill, and the 44 county assemblies that approved it, in upholding what represents the hopes and aspirations of all those who participated in the various public forums seeking long-term solutions to this country’s problems,” the joint statement from Uhuru and Raila read in part.
Thursday’s BBI vote has also sent shockwaves inside DP’s camp after a majority of MPs from the pastoralist communities who had initially opposed the Bill voted in support. This is despite Ruto allies, led by Garissa Town MP Aden Duale vowing to ensure the bill flops in Parliament.
The passing of BBI in parliament with an overwhelming majority has isolated the DP even further and being confined in his Rift Valley backyard.