The decision by the Court of Appeal to uphold the High Court’s judgment that rendered the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) null and void was highly misguided, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Speaking for the first time since the verdict was delivered, the Head of State said it was heart-breaking that a process that was aimed at addressing historical challenges had been politicized and undermined by what he termed as nothing but pure selfish interests.
“It is unfortunate that amongst us, there are those who will sacrifice (the country’s) interests over personal political agenda.” He said
“It is so unfortunate that people have forgotten why we were looking at this (equity and inclusivity), and for short-term political gain have decided to deny Kenyans of what is legitimately in their interest.” He added
President Kenyatta maintaining that BBI, birthed after his handshake with opposition leader Raila Odinga, was an important step towards building a more cohesive, equal, and progressive Kenya.
He regretted that a section of Kenyans had been tricked into believing that BBI had the sole aim of propelling Raila to the presidency come 2022. The President said the same narrative had indeed been used to intentionally hoodwink the masses into believing that BBI was an avenue for him to extend his stay in power.
He reiterates that his one and only agenda is to leave Kenya a more united and prosperous nation.
“This is all propaganda and hype that is built to poison the people’s minds, and to make them deviate from looking at the real facts.” He charged during a televised interview with media editors Tuesday night.
As a result, the Commander in Chief says Kenyans lost an opportunity to shape the country’s destiny for the better. Having closed ranks with Raila, he says they had managed to rally the country into having a conversation, pointing out some underlying issues that have plagued the country for a long time.
With the Appellate Court’s verdict, he expressed regret that the same issues that have held the country at ransom for decades will remain unresolved.
“At the end of the day, who are the people who suffer when we have political problems? It is not the elite. It is the masses, who are the people who are denied resources. When we don’t deal with these issues of inequity, it is the people (who suffer), not the elite,” He said
“I, as Uhuru Kenyatta, have not lost anything. However, I am sad because I feel we might have denied Kenyans something that would not have only improved their lives and livelihoods, but made the nation more cohesive.” He added
Nonetheless, President Kenyatta says he will not give up his dream of a united, cohesive, and equal Kenya. He promises to continue championing what he believes is good for the country.
“I will continue to fight or advocate for those things that I believe in and believe strongly that as a country, we need to be fair, we need to shed this ethnic umbrella,” He said
And as the elections approach, the President expressed hope that Kenyans will elect a leader ‘who doesn’t concentrate on their short-term interests, but their long-term survivability as citizens and the long-term stability of our nation.’