February 26, 2021 - 5 minutes read

After the BBI whitewash, decision time for the DP

By The Vellum Team
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Deputy President William Ruto has had plenty of opportunities this week to think about his next moves after County Assemblies across the country approved the Bill to amend the Constitution prompted by the Building Bridges Initiative.

The Tangatanga camp he leads had pegged their hopes on the regional representatives rejecting the Bill pushed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga but their plans quickly came undone on Tuesday.

The pro-BBI team had already gained some momentum the week before but as the results rolled in on what Raila referred to as Super Tuesday, it increasingly became evident there was no stopping the BBI train.

Members of the Deputy President’s political team are pulling in different directions. Some say that because he has never overtly expressed opposition to the Bill and has merely raised pertinent issues, he still has the leeway to join the No camp, which is currently led by Martha Karua and a number of activists.

Some have suggested that he maintain his balancing act and focus on his big target, the presidency, while others think now would be an opportune time for him to back the Bill as he has much to gain if the Executive is expanded as he would have gifts to dangle to potential regional kingpins for 2022.

Joining the Yes team would certainly confuse the camp behind Raila, which sees the planned referendum as an opportunity to gain supremacy over the Deputy President ahead of the next elections.

Coincidentally, many of the County Assemblies that approved the Bill, especially in Central Kenya, were keen on emphasizing that they had separated issues and their votes on BBI were not indicators of the possible direction on 2022.

For the Deputy President and his supporters, they can take the landslide victory for the BBI at this stage as a demonstration of the extent to which statecraft can be put to use.

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