Kenya: Finally, Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga to Receive BBI Report

22 November 2019

A month after their mandate concluded, the 'Handshake' taskforce is finally set to hand in its report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Chairman of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) for National Unity Advisory Taskforce, Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji on Friday said his team has secured a meeting with the President and Mr Odinga next week.

"It is now our privilege to inform the public that an appointment to hand the report to the President has been arranged for Tuesday November 26, 2019," Mr Haji told journalists at a press conference on Friday.

The taskforce's mandate concluded on October 23 and for a month, they have been waiting to hand over their report.

When he met Mount Kenya leaders on November 15, President Kenyatta announced that the report will be printed in bulk and distributed to Kenyans to enable them to read and understand the taskforce's findings and recommendations.

The taskforce was gazetted on May 24, 2018 following the March 8 unity pact between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, popularly known as the Handshake, after a bitter political fallout during the August 2017 General Election.

The unity pact, the two had said, was meant to unite the country.

However, the Handshake and the subsequent formation of the taskforce has caused tension within the ruling Jubilee Party as the two sides, Kieleweke which is supportive of President Kenyatta and Tanga Tanga which is allied to Deputy President William Ruto go for each other over the perceived intention of the taskforce.

Those allied to the deputy president have been vocally opposed to the handshake and the taskforce which they say are meant to scuttle Dr Ruto's presidential ambitions in 2022.

But President Kenyatta allayed those fears during the Sagana meeting. He told the Mount Kenya leaders that his political truce with Mr Odinga should not be seen as an endorsement for 2022 presidential race but was limited to the country's peace.

As a result of the division over the taskforce, the BBI has become the subject of speculation as political temperatures rise.

Yesterday, the taskforce talked of "the flood of false reports that are circulating on social media claiming to be from BBI."

"The misrepresentations are designed to sow confusion and division among Kenyans at a time when there is a strong national consensus on the need for cohesion, honesty and ambition to change our country for the better," said Mr Haji.

According to the senator, in coming up with their report, they interacted with at least 7,000 Kenyans, visited all the 47 counties, heard from more than 400 current and former elected leaders, 123 people representing major institutions including constitutional bodies. The taskforce also received 261 e-mailed submissions and 755 handwritten submissions

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