Let tolerance guide conversation on BBI
Finally, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is in the hands of Kenyans. Its launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Nairobi’s Bomas of Kenya, which has played host to numerous and often controversial attempts such as Bomas One and Two to draw a new constitutional dispensation yesterday, was historic.
The report, with nine-point agenda to catalyse the rebirth of the country, was unveiled against the backdrop of suspicions and tension among various political players, a situation that has often undermined the unity of the nation.
This is why it was encouraging that yesterday’s gathering was the beginning of a national conversation on the document prepared by eminent citizens, who had been picked to sow seeds of reconciliation, cohesion, peace and empowerment of the people, especially the youth.
It was also gratifying that attempts to introduce politics into the process was shot down with ringing calls for tolerance and accommodation of divergent views on the document.
The new Kenya envisaged in the report is only possible if it is founded and guided by convergence in diversity.
For the umpteenth time, we urge Kenyans to own the process by reading the report and internalise it in the spirit of the Handshake between President Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
At the launch, the two put up persuasive arguments on why they shelved personal and narrow political interests that were inimical to our nationhood to come together to heal the country.
This is the cue all citizens need to follow and engage in a robust, honest and sober discourse on the issues such as governance structure and inclusivity, fight against graft, devolution and youth empowerment.
It was also refreshing to hear the political elite promising not to hijack the BBI process because it belongs to Wanjiku.
It is, therefore, important for Wanjiku, in whose hands power is vested to shake off the shackles of ethnicity and political elite to define her destiny and create a thriving democracy, and a prosperous and united nation at peace with itself.
This is a chance that Kenyans must never auction at the altar of cheap, populist and ethnic based politics. Let the lighting and glitz that summed up the BBI launch signify that brighter tomorrow of one people, one country.