Report could radically change country’s political landscape
Emeka-Mayaka Gekara and Eric Wainaina
The long wait for the Building Bridges Initiative report comes to an end today when President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga receives a report that could radically change the country’s political landscape.
Focus will also be on Deputy President William Ruto and his backers who have already vowed to campaign against the document whose handing over will happen at State House.
Key political players such as Opposition parties leader Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford K), National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Speakers of both Houses of Parliament will attend the handover.
“It is a significant event which is meant to support the President and Raila’s common agenda of ending divisive elections, negative ethnicity and ensure inclusion,” said Duale (pictured).
So significant is the report, which is a product of their March 9, 2018 historic Handshake that the president and Raila have staked their legacies on it. The report is expected to address issues inclusivity, corruption, ethnic division, polarising elections, security and lack of national ethos.
But there are fears the initiative that was meant to unite the country could lead to more division with the Deputy President’s allies indicating they may reject its finding if it does serve their interests.
Some politicians believe BBI is designed to frustrate Ruto’s presidential ambitions. Though Raila has not declared that he will contest the presidency in 2022, Ruto perceives him as his main opponent.
On Sunday Ruto advised Kenyans to ignore those using threats to support the report. “Every Kenyan would be given a chance to read and understand the report. That way, we will agree on how we would move forward together.”
But MPs close to him have indicated they will boycott an event planned at the Bomas of Kenya tomorrow where the report will be made public. All elected leaders have been invited to the event.
“We will not attend because it does not add value. If we (members of the pro-Ruto Tanga Tanga group) attend, it will be misconstrued that we are part of the initiative which is not the case.
It’s their (Uhuru and Raila’s) baby. They conceived it, let them deliver it and bring it to us. Going to Bomas will be like going to midwife for them,” said Keiyo South MP David Rono.
Already the report has elicited negative reactions among leaders mostly in Rift Valley and Central Kenya. Members of the Tanga Tanga brigade especially those drawn from Mt Kenya have also vowed to do a parallel campaign against it unless the report addresses issues affecting the region, especially the crises in tea, coffee and milk sectors.
Those who have registered their reservations with BBI include MPs Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa) Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Patrick Wainaina (Thika Town), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Gabriel Kago (Githunguri) and Alice Wahome (Kandara).