Finally, the highly-anticipated Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report was released to the public on Wednesday 27th of November, 2019 at the Bomas of Kenya after months of speculation and flaring political temperatures.
The journey that commenced on the famous March 9 2018 when Opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta shocked the world with their Handshake finally witnesses thousands of delegates storm the Bomas in solidarity with the initiative.
However, the launch, which came a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta received the report from the BBI Chairperson Senator Yusuf Haji, was marked with hilarious moments of drama from various speakers. Our team samples a few.
- Mudavadi Speech steals the show
With most speakers focusing on how leaders can share government positions, ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi changed the mood when he challenged leaders to consider motivating teachers and civil servants and the private sector.
“The focus is too much on sharing positions but no one is talking about motivating the teachers and the civil servants,” Mudavadi lamented as the delegates stared at the floor.
Immediately he finished the statement, Musalia Mudavadi was among the top three trending topics on Twitter.
This so far the best thing I've heard from the bomas. Hon Musalia Mudavadi you struck my heart. If what you said is purely from your heart and not biased, You should be in state house. #BBIReport pic.twitter.com/G74xrLtfJC
— Waaya Arag (@WaayaArag_) November 27, 2019
2. Governor Sonko Angry in own bedroom
The controversial Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was not a happy man when was called upon to address the gathering by the Chair of Governor’s Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. The bling-bling Sonko expressed is anger at the organizers for not giving him a chance to welcome delegates to his own county as the hosting governor.
“How can people come to my own county yet am as the hosting Governor, I am not acknowledged to welcome the delegates during such a big function?” Poised Governor Sonko, apparently furious at the way the programmers handled him.
3. Murkomen Heckled
Enters Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. The ODM Party Director for Elections Mr. Junet Muhamed had thrown some jibe at the Jubilee side when he was welcoming Mr. Murkomen.
In an apparent mockery to Deputy President Ruto’s foot soldiers who had earlier own appeared to opposed to the BBI initiative, Mr. Junet suggested that the ODM side would follow the direction their leader Raila Oding would give after reading it and that the “Jubilee side can take their opinion elsewhere”.
The statement seemed to anger Senator Murkomen who was next on the microphone but unfortunately, his emotions were heckled down by sections of the delegates who wanted him to halt his speech.
Murkomen’s only sin was to affirm that the Jubilee side had a right to speak on matters BBI, the sentiments that apparently didn’t augur well wit some delegates who shouted him down.
“Your excellency, we must have an honest discussion here; Junet even the way you are running the program, it will be a lie for me to leave this stage without saying that this program has been skewed to leave out people with different opinions”
This forced Chair Yusuf Haji to intervene before allowing the outspoken Senator to continue with his speech. At the end, voice believed to be that of the furious Murkomen would be heard off the microphone cursing, kwendeni huko (go to hell) as he returned to his seat. Talk of tampers!
"Your excellency, we must have an honest discussion here; Junet even the way you are running the program, it will be a lie for me to leave this stage without saying that this program has been skewed to leave out people with different opinions" – Kipchumba Murkomen #BBIReport pic.twitter.com/vEsaxzTiw6
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) November 27, 2019
Nowadays they don’t even match the shirts…marriage
— milton gatonga (@gatongamg) November 27, 2019
4. Atwoli Shouts
COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli would not miss in the highlights and this time, he had apparently perfected in shouting.
Mr. Atwoli, known for his YHEES! YHEES! slogan, was also heckled when he suggested that there should be two Deputy Presidents and two Deputy Prime Ministers while raising his voice louder to outsmart the boos.
Why ATWOLI is trending.🤗😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/cFHLoTxP1N
— Omwana Omtiti (@mc_kingori) November 27, 2019
5. Kalonzo Apologizes
Former Vice President Stephen Kalonso Musyoka joined Musalia Mudavadi in giving sober speeches when he appeared to lecture Murkomen on anger management especially at the time the country is seeking to build bridges. Mr. Kalonso stated that nothing good comes out of anger, having made angry statements himself in the past.
“Your Excellency, I know in my past, I have made angry statements at you and for this matter, I also apologize to you,” he said amid cheers from the delegates.
6. Tanzanian Lecture
With a name so difficult for MC Junet Muhamed to pronounce, Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs Palamagamba Kabudi gave a moving lecture that opened the eyes of Kenyans across the divide. In his speech, Mr. Kabudi narrated how the Tanzanian government once had a state officer with a Kikuyu name.
He stated that Tanzania has more tribes than Kenya but they don’t worship ethnicity as happens in Kenya.
He acclimatized his speech by ordering all the delegates to old their hands together and declare Kenya as ONE COUNTRY.
— NationBreakingNews (@NationBreaking) November 27, 2019
7. Ruto Chickens out of Kiswahili
Speaking after the Tanzanian minister, Kenya’s Deputy President Dr. William Ruto forced delegates to show their teeth when he stepped to the podium.
“Your Excellency, I will not attempt speaking any Kiswahili…” joked Ruto in reference to the deep Swahili speech that Mr. Palamagamba Kabudi had given amid cheers from the gathering.
8. Raila Introduces Sitting Room
In a rare occasion, Dr. Ruto spoke ahead of Opposition Leader Raila Odinga and when the later rose to give his speech, he jokingly acknowledged Kibra Constituency as his bedroom but added Lang’ata as the sitting room.
“We are gathered here at Bomas of Kenya in Lang’ata which borders Kibra. So if Kibra is a bedroom, then where we are here is the sitting room.” he said as the congregation burst into laughter.
Raila’s sentiments came after his former running mate Kalonso Musyoka had dismissed the idea of leaders marking certain territories as their bedrooms.
The word bedroom became popular during the Kibra parliamentary by election where ODM leaders had labelled the constituency as Raila’s bedroom and that it was out of bounce for other parties to seek votes.
9. Uhuru’s Play Within A Play
While narrating how he met NASA leader Raila Oding at State House before the famous Marc 9 handshake, President Uhuru Kenyatta painted an imagery of how hard it was for the rivals to even start a conversation. He said the duo took tea for more than 40 minutes without starting a conversation.
“It was very tensional,” President Uhuru said.
“It was kind of habari ya mama… ako mzima…mmh… habari ya nyumbani…wazima… (how is your wife… she is fine…mmh… how is home…they are fine)” as he depicted the drama between himself and Raila before they started the journey of the handshake.
10. Itumbi Roughed up by Security
As if it was bad day for Deputy President’s foot soldiers, digital strategist Dennis Itumbi was roughed up by the president’s security when he tried to access the main dais.
In a video circulating online, a man is seen crossing at the back of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Moments later, the same man, looking exactly like Itumbi, is seen being ejected by the security team manning the President as he tries to resist.
Stay tuned for more analysis of the BBI Report, the contents and reactions….