What is in the BBI report?

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Just asking for a friend.

BBI stands for Building Bridges Initiative.

As a student of Public Policy, I know this is one of the strategies used for agenda setting.  

In May 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Right Hon. Raila Odinga appointed a Task force through Gazette notice No. 5154 to investigate the challenges facing Kenya and propose possible solutions.

The Task force visited all the 47 counties in Kenya and collected views from Kenyans, professionals, religious leaders and politicians on how to achieve unity in Kenya.

Task-force Members

  • Mohamed Yusuf Haji – Chairperson and Member
  • Adams Oloo – Vice-Chairperson
  • Professor Saeed Mwaguni – Member
  • Dr. Florence Omosa – Member
  • Mrs. Agnes Kavindu Muthama – Member
  • Senator Amos Wako – Member 
  • James Matunda – Member
  • John Seii – Member
  • Maison Leshoomo – Member
  • Bishop Lawi Imathiu – Member
  • Bishop Peter Njenga – Member
  • Dr. Morompi Ole Ronkei – Member
  • Rose Museo – Member
  • Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth – Member
  • Paul Mwangi
  • Martin Kimani

The BBI report originated from the popular ‘Handshake’ of 9th March, 2018.

The task-force has identified 9 main challenges facing Kenya. These are: insecurity, ethnic antagonism, divisive elections, corruption, lack of national ethos, rights of citizens, inclusive and shared prosperity.

The report found out that, Kenyans lack shared beliefs, aspirations and ideals. This is what they term as national ethos. Kenyans need to respect each other despite the differences in religions, culture and beliefs.

The Building Bridges Initiative reports that Kenyans wants to do away with the winner-take-all presidency. On divisive elections, the report indicates that Kenyans are not happy about being divided by elections every five years. The task force recommended the creation of an executive president as Head of State and Government as well as Commander-in-chief. The president also appoints the Prime Minister (PM).

What are we trying to achieve here? Why should the President be the one appointing the Prime Minister? What happens in other jurisdictions such as India and Israel? The President appointing a PM should be thought out well considering that we are creating a president who is too powerful. We are going to square one where we started from after independence. 

It is further proposed that the Prime Minister will be a member of Cabinet. He/she will be appointed from among the elected Members of Parliament (MPs). 

Under the new proposals, the Cabinet Secretaries to be renamed Cabinet Minister. I know see that we Kenyans are allergic to change. That is my opinion.

The Task force has also recommended that the position of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) be eliminated.

The Task force calls for the sparing of constituencies considering that they have a role in representing the sparsely populated areas in Kenya. 

The Task force called for changes on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

 

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Editor-in-Chief

Geoffrey Kerosi, economic and public policy analyst based in Nairobi City. Email: geoffrey@kerosi.com. WhatsApp: +254713 639 776 YouTube: Kerosi TV

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