Opinion: Time to Call a Spade a Spade
Murang'a Senator, Irungu Kang'ata has been trending all day after revealing that the Building Bridges Initiative was unpopular in Central Kenya and it would bring shame to those associated with it. Through a leaked letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the senator revealed that he had surveyed Mount Kenya personally and acquired adequate data from the residents to prove that BBI was unpopular in the region.
From the 10 participants that the Senate Majority Chief Whip surveyed, 6 opposed the initiative, 2 were indifferent about it, and only 2 people supported it. The Senator was quick to draw conclusions about the unpopularity of the president's initiative as he mentioned that the repercussions of supporting such an unpopular report would be a spectacular defeat that would eventually subject him to permanent shame.
The senator mentioned that the BBI report contained numerous benefits for Central Kenya region, but cautioned that its failure could mean that these benefits would be lost if another regime came to power without a person from the region at the helm.
Senator Kangata's revelation has been long overdue as he seems to speak soberly about the situation on the 'ground.' He understood that his findings would seem controversial as he added that he executed his duty truthfully as he was mandated by the Jubilee Party to be factual and fair when executing his duties.
One thing is evident that President Uhuru Kenyatta's ability to sway the region has dwindled and he may have an uphill task selling the BBI narrative in his backyard. Senator Kang'ata only revealed this fact. The president's political tussles with his deputy have exacerbated the situation with different factions emerging to support the different leaders. Before the pandemic, the Deputy President, William Ruto had been traversing the vote-rich region while visiting churches and launching projects (which may have stalled due to the political standoff). He was branded Tangatanga, a metaphor he has since embraced and confused his followers to perceive it as a compliment.
By examining the voting patterns of the Mount Kenya region, it is apparent that it is very difficult to sell Raila Odinga in Central Kenya and therefore, people are wondering is how President Uhuru will pull a rabbit out of a hat and convince his 'jeshi' not to let him down this time.