BBI Launch: DP Ruto booed after poking holes in report

Delegates on Monday booed Deputy President William Ruto at the Bomas of Kenya, where the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was being launched.

The delegates broke into a round of booing after the second-in-command said he would be continuing with the controversial wheel-barrow and Mkokoteni initiative.

“…and I am sure he was referring to the wheelbarrow. And possibly, he was referring to me, and this wheelbarrow…the question I want to ask us; how come in the 21st century, a 16th century tool called a wheelbarrow, millions of citizens, in the 21st century are still dependent on the wheelbarrow and mkokoteni?” The second in command posed amid boos.

Ruto was referring to youth leader Alex Matere, who had earlier, rubbished the initiative, calling it an invention from the 1600s which was outdated.

However, when he rose to the podium, Ruto took on the youth leader, noting that a wheelbarrow is still handy to date despite its old age.

He vowed to continue with the initiative saying it was helpful to the hustlers who are largely forgotten.

Elicited Boos

The topic elicited boos from among the audience, who immediately broke into boos with a majority of those who were picketing, among them legislator Millie Odhiambo shouting “respect the president”.

Ruto also took issue with the proposition to have IEBC commissioners elected by political parties, saying the election would not be fair as they would be chosen by a few selected parties.

“How fair will a league be, where a referee is appointed by teams, and not all the teams but some teams? …Unless you tell me that it is okay for some teams to appoint the referee…and if that is what you are saying, I have my reservations.”

Derogation from the independence of the judiciary

At the same time, Ruto said the proposed creation of an independent office of the Judiciary Ombudsman was an affront to the independence of the Judiciary.

“On the matter of the judiciary, allow me to say that there is a huge space to have an improvement on the proposal that has been made… Having an ombudsman appointed by the Executive into the Judiciary is a derogation from the independence of the institution.”

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