How Ruto Has Pocketed Half of the Building Bridges Team to Avoid Referendum

Deputy President William Ruto is not going down without a fight and he is fighting dirty.

His latest move has been to ensure he compromises members of the Building bridges team which has been tasked with recommending the referendum. In fact, to begin with, he has ensured the Treasury led by his ally Henry Rotich frustrates the Building Bridges team financially by denying them the allocated budget thus throwing the team in a limbo.

The initiative had a budget of roughly Sh350 million given its mandate that runs for one year and the many activities lined up.

Consequently, several activities which had been lined up by the Building the Bridges to Unity Advisory Task Force have stalled. An example is a national conference on corruption which had been scheduled for Bomas of Kenya early this month but had to be called off at the last minute.

The conference was expected to bring together selected Kenyans from all counties to give views on high-level corruption in the country.

The budgetary constraints come amid growing fears that powerful forces in government opposed to the handshake-read-DP William Ruto could be pulling the strings to frustrate the outfit chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.

Lack of a spacious office with conferencing facilities for the expanded team has forced the task force to hold its meetings in hotels.

Ruto and his mandarins from his Rift Valley backyard have claimed the initiative was designed to elbow their man out of the 2022 presidential race.

Senators Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) have repeatedly claimed the initiative is to help Mr Odinga sneak into the 2022 race through the back-door at the expense of the Deputy President.

Amid talk of referendum ahead of the next General Election, Mr Ruto has said he would oppose such a move were the advisory team to recommend it in its final submissions to the President.

He has gone ahead and pocketed key members of the initiative like John Seii who despite being a member of the team last week led Kalenjin elders in demanding that Uhuru supports Ruto in 2022. Others believed to have tasted the bulky brown envelope are Bishop Lawi Imathiu, Senator Yusuf Haji, Bishop Peter Njenga, Morompi ole Ronkai, Makueni Women Rep Rose Museo and Saeed Mwanguni.