One of the biggest hoaxes being peddled is that William Ruto was never opposed to BBI. “Have you ever heard him say he is against it?” his spin doctors are now busy telling everybody as if we are aliens from Mars. Even in propaganda, some semblance of fact is advisable.
Whose agenda are Tanga Tanga MPs pushing when they viciously and repeatedly attack BBI at weekend rallies and church barazas?
How many times has the DP been on record complaining BBI has derailed the Big Four agenda? How many times has he said BBI is only meant to create seats for “wadosi wachache” (Dynasties)”? And, pray, what was the DP purportedly stopping when he famously boasted he would “stop the reggae”?
Come on, Ruto doesn’t have to jump up and down holding a hustler placard for anybody to know BBI is a big No for him. He has spent the better part of two years throwing mud at it. But once Tanga Tanga sensed the BBI’s inevitability, they changed tactics.
“We are not interested in a Yes-No contest”. “We want consensus”. “We want a win-win. “We want multiple-choice referendum questions”. The game was to sabotage.
Now, with a referendum looming, they have back-pedaled. They have started pretending to be indifferent, unconcerned.
“BBI is not a priority”. “Our focus is on empowerment”. And wheelbarrows. And, above all else, 2022.
We are dealing with latter-day watermelons. Greenish on the outside but very red (‘No’) inside.
February 23: Super Tuesday, as it has been called, will be remembered as the day the tide turned. Twenty-six county assemblies voted overwhelmingly for the BBI Bill, whizzing past the 24-county threshold after 12 other counties had voted Yes the previous week. On the Super, Tuesday roster was a cluster of Mt. Kenya counties that were being closely watched due to the many months of intense campaigning Tanga Tanga had invested there. Their County Assemblies all voted massively for the Bill.
Mt. Kenya Tanga Tangas should worry. At one point they got so cocky, they excitedly started talking of naming Ruto the regional eminence, the Boss. (Don’t laugh; they were serious).
Now, that has to be drastically revised after Uhuru’s Sagana III gathering last month and the Super Tuesday outcome.
Truth is, their anti-BBI campaign, which has been on for some two years, has been deconstructed in a matter of days. And the referendum campaign proper has not even begun.
Following the Super Tuesday avalanche, some Counties in Ruto’s North Rift base decided to swim with the current rather than stick out as the outliers.
The North Rift ground is hostile to the BBI, but the optics of being the only holdouts aren’t good. It would isolate Ruto as a mere Kalenjin leader. Well, as they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.
Anyway, whichever way those counties voted was of no consequence once the 24-county threshold was met.
That wave surely suggests Ruto’s hold in the county assemblies outside his North Rift base is weak. It was the same with the ‘Punguza Mizigo’ initiative, which Tanga Tanga are believed to have quietly supported before it collapsed in the County Assemblies.
The BBI vote opened many eyes as to the DP’s powerlessness in setting or blocking, an agenda in the County Assemblies. Yet he has been frequently interacting with MCAs at his official Karen residence and in his countrywide tours. His Tanga Tanga MPs also notably failed to influence the way the MCAs voted. Even the recently elected Tanga Tanga-linked MCAs for Lakeview ward in Naivasha and Gaturi in Murang’a voted Yes. Clearly, there’s something very amiss with Team Ruto’s networking in the Assemblies.
Ah, there was the Sh.2 million car grant “sweetener” from President Uhuru Kenyatta to the MCAs.
Yeah, quite an upgrade from wheelbarrows. It was a huge propaganda boon for the anti-BBI side, though I suspect a majority of the MCAs would still have voted Yes without this “inducement.”
Now some Tanga Tangas are daring the pro-BBI camp for a referendum showdown.
“Hustlers will shoot it down,” they say.
It is easy, though, to predict what turn the referendum campaigns will take.
With their hostility to BBI, Tanga Tanga will be hard-pressed to explain how they can disregard the 35 percent revenue promise to Counties and the 5 percent Ward Fund. These are the most popular bits of the BBI Bill at the County level. Already, BBI has acquired a slogan: “Pesa Kwanza, Siasa Baadaye!”
Tanga Tanga’s messaging of negativism and second-guessing will be problematic.
“Where will the money come from?” “We don’t need a constitutional amendment to increase County funding.”
The sincerity of Tanga Tanga’s sudden interest in economic prudence is debatable. What is not is the hunger of Counties for increased money allocations.
In the end, the referendum will be won or lost over this issue of cash.
Everybody except Tanga Tanga is denying any link between BBI and 2022. Of course, there is. A tight one. Tanga Tanga is spot-on there. Eventually, Kenyans will connect the dots. Let the referendum hurdle be cleared first. 2022 will be a very interesting year.