Kenya: President Kenyatta Receives BBI Report

President Uhuru Kenyatta hugs Opposition leader Raila Odinga as his Deputy President William Ruto (right) and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka cheer them (file photo).
26 November 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta received the Building Bridges Initiative report on Tuesday at State House, Nairobi.

The President received the report from the initiative's task force chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga were present.

The report seeks to address issues identified as vital in building a stable and united Kenya.

The nine points in a communiqué issued by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga after their March 9, 2018 handshake include ethnic antagonism, lack of a national ethos, inclusivity and devolution and divisive elections.

Others were security, corruption, shared prosperity and responsibility.

The 14-member team that went round the country collecting views tried to balance various interests and address some of the matters that led to the rejection of the Thirdway Alliance Party-fronted Punguza Mizigo bill.

Though the BBI task force focused on the nine points, it is the proposal to create a prime ministerial post that has attracted debate.

It is seen as important in reducing antagonism, ethnic competition and ensuring inclusivity in government.

Leaders from marginalised regions had cautioned against dissolving counties or merging electoral areas. The Haji team kept off the issue.

Mt Kenya leaders advocated for one-person one-vote formula that the BBI panel maintained.

Those from the north, including National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, vouched for a parliamentary system of governance “to enable even small communities produce a president or prime minister”.

Female leaders had expressed concern that BBI would call for the scrapping of the county woman representative post but the committee did not interfere with representation and electoral boundaries.

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