Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni has issued a list of requirements that could see BBI opponents seeking support from Mt Kenya retreat to re-strategize on how to capture the region’s nine million votes come 2022. Speaking in Nyeri County over the weekend during the installation of the national Kiama kia Ma and Kikuyu Council of elders patron Kinyua wa Mwangi where the call for the region to speak in one voice was the clarion call, Kioni said that the region’s support would be pegged on attaining the gains promised by the annulled Building Bridges Initiative report.
The BBI report had proposed the creation of seven additional constituencies in favour of the Mt Kenya region which consists of Kiambu, Nyeri, Murang’a, Meru, Kirinyaga, Embu, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Tharaka-Nithi and Nakuru counties. The document had also proposed an additional allocation of shs. 53 billion per year to the bloc. “For anyone coming to seek votes from us, your work has been cut out for you. You must first and foremost tell us how this money (shs. 53 billion) will get to us and it’s not just for the Kikuyus but for all the other tribes that reside in those counties, otherwise even that unity you are talking about will remain elusive,” said Kioni.
Kioni who is also the chair of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee of the National Assembly took a swipe at BBI opponents arguing that they had worked hard to discredit the document on the pretext that it only sought to protect the interests of one individual. According to the Ndaragwa legislator, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga had worked out an elaborate formula that would ensure fair representation and equitable distribution of resources. He argued that it was now time for BBI opponents seeking support in the 2022 poll to convince the voters that they had a better formula that would solve the region’s problems.
“When you come looking for votes, start by telling us why you opposed the creation of the seven constituencies. If you opposed us when we had a proposal for looking for this money, going forward we will also need you to reassure us that you will give us what belongs to us if we support you,” said Kioni.
He said that picking a running mate from the region was not a compelling reason to guarantee support adding that the position only came with privileges for the office bearer but it bore no fruits for the voters.
“Don’t tell us you want to appoint a deputy president from Mt Kenya, there is nothing good to look forward to in being a running mate. The real work is to bring development to the people and these are things you must put on the table when you court us for our votes, “he said.