Third Eye

Embrace sobriety in BBI report discourse

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 00:00 |

President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday received the consolidated Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report that the country has been waiting for.

It was directed that the report be distributed widely to enable Kenyans to read and understand it ahead of the official launch in Nairobi on Monday.

The initiative was put together after the March 18 truce between the two leaders and is meant to address what they identified as most pressing issues, which include divisive elections, inclusivity, corruption, lack of national ethos, shared property, devolution and independence of the Judiciary.

A glimpse of the report reveals radical proposals on the structure of the Executive, composition of the Legislature, reconstitution of constitutional commissions and independent offices. 

While the drafters propose the disbanding of some commissions, it proposes creation of others such as one for the health sector and the youth.

It also recommends establishment of the Public Invoices tribunal to handle business related-disputes between government agencies and entrepreneurs.

The team has also made attempts to address the jinxed gender rule by recommending a new structure of the Senate and National Assembly.

Given the radical nature of some of the proposals, especially those touching on the structures of governance and the polarising din of our politics, Kenyans are certain to be subjected to highly emotive debate on the BBI in the coming days.

According to the BBI task force, the consultative process that has taken more than a year offered Kenyans a chance to enact ambitious reforms that would allow them to safely navigate their way to a more stable, fair and inclusive Kenya.

 The task force said it collected views from Kenyans in the public and private sectors.

And to implement the proposals, the report proposes a litany of administrative and legislative actions as well as radical amendments to the Constitution that would require a referendum.

Already, a section of the political elite and church leaders, have questioned the motive of the initiative.

It is expected that there will be two sides in the debate. Indeed, Kenyans have been advised to read the document and make informed decisions when some of its suggestions will be put to a vote.

They should seize the opportunity to have a sober national conversation on devoid of the emerging acidity of 2022 politics.

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