The team to spearhead BBI process in counties unveiled
After President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga officially launched the collection of at least a million signatures in support of the BBI bill on Wednesday, focus now shifts to 16 individuals tasked with the responsibility to popularise the project at the grassroots.
Sources say the 16 are expected to work closely with National government officials — chiefs, sub-county and county commissioners — to ensure the exercise is concluded within the shortest period possible.
At the same time, governors have now been mandated with the responsibility to embark on mobilising members of their respective County Assemblies early enough before the document is taken to the regional lwamaking organs.
Uhuru and Raila surprised most Kenyans who had expected them to pick political heavyweights to carry the load of popularising the bill, when they bypassed the latter and instead settled on nondescript individuals in some regions.
At the apex of the team is the campaign secretariat, co-chaired by National Assembly Minority Chief Whip Junet Muhamed and former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, who will be answerable to Uhuru and Raila.
Beneath Junet and Waweru will be various teams, starting from the sub-location to the county level, coordinated by the 16 regional individuals, whose efforts would be supplemented by Ward Reps and parliamentary leaders.
According to the list released by the BBI secretariat, Makadara MP George Aladwa, his Dagoretti North counterpart Simba Arati and their Nominated colleague Maina Kamanda and Nancy Gesire will be in-charge of Nairobi, while Mwalimu Makarani and Borabu MP Ben Momanyi will coordinate Coast and Nyamira respectively.
Other coordinators are Mwengi Mutuse (Lower Eastern), former Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti (Mt Kenya East), former Mathira MP Peter Weru (Central), Jibril Mahaalim (North Eastern), Paul Nabii and Nabii Nabwera (Western), former Health Minister Paul Sang (South Rift), Violet Chepsang (North Rift), Beatrice Askul (Turkana), former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo (Luo Nyanza) and Patrick Lumumba (Kisii).
Speaking separately to People Daily yesterday, Aladwa and Midiwo said they have been mandated to come up with all-inclusive committees at the sub-location, location and county levels to spearhead the exercise.
Further to that, they would be responsible for sensitising the public on the document in town hall meetings.
“In my case, I have decided to allow MCAs the leeway to identify members to the location committees while MPs will identify those to comprise the sub-county ones. All the committees will be inclusive, with all political parties, religious and civil society groups involved,” Midiwo said.
Aladwa disclosed that their team is scheduled to convene the first meeting today at the Nairobi Regional Coordinator’s Nyayo house office.
“Time is not on our side and we must move fast to achieve our target. We are however, not going to leave anybody outside the team,” Aladwa said.
Besides mobilising their MCAs, governors will also be involved in the process.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Cotu boss Francis Atwoli are expected to shore up BBI support across Western Kenya.
In Nyanza, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Kisii Governor James Ongwae and his Kisumu counterpart Anyang’ Nyong’o will take charge.
At the Coast, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi would spearhead the campaigns, while Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka together with Machakos and Kitui governors Alfred Mutua and Charity Ngilu will lead events in Eastern.
In the President’s Central Kenya backyard, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru will spearhead the BBI process.
In Deputy President William Ruto’s Rift Valley backyard, Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi will lead various teams from the region to counter any threats that might be posed by DP’s allies.
Once the BBI team collects at least one million signatures, it will submit them to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which would subject them to verification, before approving them.
The IEBC would them forward the BBI Bill to all the 47 county assemblies, at least 24 out of which must support it for it to be subjected to a referendum.