Deputy President William Ruto has asked politicians not to use the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to impose their will on Kenyans.
He told politicians not to intimidate Kenyans into submitting to their demands “whether they like it or not”.
The Deputy President said it was irresponsible for leaders to bypass the views of ordinary Kenyans, observing that BBI should accommodate everyone.
“Kenya belongs to all of us and no one should force Kenyans to accept that things must go their way,” he noted.
He spoke on Sunday during a church service at Soul Harvesters International in Dandora, Embakasi North, Nairobi County.
Dr Ruto said the Jubilee administration was focused on implementing its manifesto and would not be distracted by the talks around BBI.
“We must deliver on our mandate as Government even as we engage in this robust discussion about uniting our country.”
He was accompanied by MPs James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Benjamin Mwangi (Embakasi Central), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Beatrice Nkatha (Tharaka Nithi), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Gitonga Muragara (Tharaka), Josphat Kabeabea (Tigania East) and Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu).
The MPs who spoke questioned opposition leader Raila Odinga’s move to call for a referendum to pass the BBI report.
Mr Gachagua dismissed the calls to hurriedly adopt the BBI report yet Kenyans had not been made aware of its content.
He said Kenyans would not support blindly a document whose content is strange to them.
Mr Gachagua said: “How would we support something we have not read?
Mr Gitonga said Kenyans should not be forced to pass the BBI report yet they have not been enlightened on its content.
He explained that “we must first be educated so that Kenyans understand its content before we can agree on whether to go to referendum or not.”
On his part, Mr Kuria warned that there were plans to amend the constitution to deny Kenyans the opportunity to elect the country’s leader.
He said: “The plan is for MPs to be bribed in Parliament to choose a President for you.”
Ms Nkatha asked politicians who wish to ascend to power to stop using BBI and referendum and instead seek the support of the people.
Mr Nyoro warned that there was a group of politicians that had hijacked BBI and were using it to divide the country.
He said: “We can see that there are those who are using BBI to divide Kenyans. We tell them Kenyans are not stupid.”
Ms Wahome asked politicians to be honest in the ongoing BBI discussion and exercise what they are advocating for.
“We cannot build bridges by preaching division, disunity, hate and conflict,” she said.
Mr Kabeabea asked leaders to lead by example as they preach unity among Kenyans.
He posed: “If BBI could not unite Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Mr Kuria, how would it unite 50 million Kenyans?”
Mr Gakuyo asked Kenyans to focus on the country’s unity and enriching its democracy.
At the same time, Dr Ruto asked politicians not to use BBI to undermine the church.