The launch of signature collection for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was characterized by low turnout as Bungoma Mps, MCAs and key religious leaders skipped the fete.

Mps and only a handful of ward leaders and religious leaders graced the ceremony which was very brief and hurriedly conducted.

The event took place at Mabanga Farmers Training College in Bungoma County which is historic in holding key political events including the famous Bukusu’Sabaot and Iteso peace pact.

Khalaba MCA Okumu Majimbo said that they were not prepared early enough and only received invitation through mobile phones from the Governor’s PA Stanslaus Wepundi.

“We are not against BBI, we want it but the governor as the county BBI coordinator should involve us through convening a consultative meeting with the assembly leadership, we play a critical role as ward leaders,” said Majimbo.

Religious leaders also gave the function a wide berth and missing in action were Christ the King Catholic Church Priest Fr.Christopher Wanyonyi and his Anglican Church of Kenya counterpart Bishop George Mechumo who got a massive following.

Leading the signature collection were Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Council of governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya and Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati.

We are here to make and be part of Kenya’s history, we are here to support the handshake spirit that unites the country and fully support BBI.  

Wamalwa said that BBI has brought together all leaders in the country and it is the best way the direction the country is taking.

“We are visiting all the counties in Western, we want to see that all Kenyans embrace BBI so that we can have a change of the constitution, this is the best document so far that will stop post election violence,” he said.

He called on Western leaders to put aside their differences and collect enough signatures that will help in the passage of the document, this is the spirit of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga,” said Wamalwa.

He pointed out that BBI is going to increase funds to the wards and ensure that development is realized in the lowest area of devolution.

Council of Governors Chairman who is also the Kakamega governor called for Western leaders to unite and embrace team work for them to enjoy the bargaining power.

“If we work together and unite, we will be respected, let’s stop political fraudsters who are out to divide us, let’s have the Western region coalition for us to be counted or else we will be led all along,” he said

He called on Luhyas to be united and support BBI and ensure that the document is passed through the collection of signatures.

Wangamati said that they well prepared in collecting the signatures in all 180 sub locations in the county.

“By close of the day tomorrow we will have surpassed the targeted 200,000 signatures needed, be rest assured that the documents will be on the ground today and BBI will get the needed signatures,” he said.

He said that the benefit of BBI outweighs an individual interest because the county will be getting an additional three more constituencies and it will ensure that the county will get more than Sh300 million CDF cash.

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