Wednesday’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report launch at the Bomas of Kenya was not short of drama, as President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto, and ODM leader Raila Odinga, finally released the document for public perusal.
From the cheeky master of ceremony Junet Mohammed, self-proclaimed rightful event-host Mike Sonko, to the clueless Francis Atwoli, guests at the event were treated to light moments and moments of reality checks in equal measure.
One Dennis Itumbi and Kipchumba Murkomen emerged the biggest casualties of mockery from Kenyans who attended the event, and those who followed it from around the country.
Murkomen, who is the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet, was almost driven out of the dais while addressing the audience at Bomas, when he made claims that a section of politicians was being belittled at the event, and being denied the opportunity to air their true views.
To the dismay of Murkomen, his speech session turned into a heckling session, with the majority of the crowd booing him.
It is only after the intervention of BBI taskforce chair, Yusuf Haji, that the audience calmed down, allowing Murkomen to finish his rant.
A few minutes after the incident, the leader of Majority in the Senate took to Twitter to save face, writing, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Itumbi, who also faced several minutes of embarrassment himself, after presidential security officers noticed him sneaking into the VIP section and promptly kicked him out in front of the full glare of curious cameras, was among the first to console Murkomen, commending him for his determination.
— Daily Nation (@dailynation) November 27, 2019
The State House Digital Strategist lauded the Senator for speaking freely against being sidelined, describing him as a great statesman.
Very Proud of you son of the soil.
Expressing yourself firmly, is an act of honesty and beauty.
Truth, spoken freely to those that control the microphone is an act of brevity.
Great statesmen, are born during such moments. Speaking truth to power, was watching you today. https://t.co/quXFPk2Ykr
— Dennis Itumbi, HSC (@OleItumbi) November 27, 2019
The BBI report has already been published on a new government website, www.bbi.go.ke.
It contains recommendations drawn from the views of about 7000 Kenyans from across the country on issues of pertinence in the country such as corruption, divisive politics, and violent elections.