BBI taskforce mandated to guide law review talks

Friday, December 13th, 2019 00:00 |
Garissa Senator and Joint chairman of the Building Bridges Initiative Yusuf Haji and secretary Adam Oloo at a previous event. Photo/PD/FILE

Eric Wainaina and Mercy Mwai

President Uhuru Kenyatta has extended the term of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Task Force team, which will now steer the public participation process that will begin in January next year.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said the team would be tasked with steering the next phase of BBI whose implementation is expected to be done within the next 18 months.

“The Task Force will therefore steer the next phase of the process, which will largely involve expanding and guiding public participation, and structuring recommendations by Kenyans into implementable action plans,” she said in the statement.

Dena said both Uhuru and Raila thanked the BBI team for putting together a report that captures the aspirations of Kenyans and thus tasked them to continue with the process.

Yesterday, the Head of State drummed support for the initiative during the 55th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium, which was borne out his March 9, 2018 Handshake with Raila, and asked leaders to stop being selfish.

The Head of State, who has not hidden his disdain for leaders fighting the unity project, said politicians should stop putting their personal interests and ambitions first at the expenses of citizens.

“We are called upon to build bridges and heal divisions not because it is easy, but because it is who we are as Kenyans. The independence-era heroes refused to be compromised with leadership positions while others in their numbers languished in colonial detention,” the President said.

Kenyans, he said, should not succumb to inertia or be afraid to implement change where necessary, adding that they the nation should not elevate partisan positions or short-term interests over the greater good.

“In 2019, we are each called upon once again to put country above self, to put Kenya’s enduring interests above our fears and personal aspirations. Let us for once say, “Kenya Kwanza; Leo, Kesho na Milele” he said in remarks targeting Tanga Tanga team allied to Deputy President William Ruto that has been skeptical about the BBI process.

Legal framework 

Major (rtd) John Seii, a member of the task force told People Daily, the President’s decision might have been informed by the desire for the same team to steer the process to completion.

“We are taking the document to the people for public engagement. After that the document will be given a legal framework by experts who will guide us along the way,” he told People Daily.

“I think the President was impressed that we came up with a warm document that has been received well across the country,” he added.

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