Kenya: BBI Team Seeks Term Extension to Complete Task

Nairobi — The Steering Committee on the Implementation of the Building Bridges Initiative Report has sought an extension of its tenure to finalise on their report before handing it over to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his hand-shake partner Raila Odinga.

Capital FM News understands that the 14-member team led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji has sought an extension of at least a month, to enable them iron out key contentious issues on the structure of governance.

"The team wants more time because they are not done with some key issues," a source farmiliar with the new development told us, "they are seeking at least a month."

The team's mandate came to an end Tuesday, and was to present its report to President Kenyatta and Odinga.

Odinga is however, out of the country, having travelled to Dubai last week for a surgery which, his family said, was successful. He is expected back next week.

The BBI team has been collecting views from Kenyans after the initial report was made public in November last year at the Bomas of Kenya, and retreated two weeks ago to start drafting its report.

The joint secretaries of the committee are Martin Kimani and lawyer Paul Mwangi.

The team was mandated to come up with solutions on how to address issues identified as key in building a stable and united Kenya.

The initial report had proposed the creation of a Prime Minister's post and the seat of the Official Leader of Opposition who will be an ex-officio Member of Parliament and will be drawn from the second runner's up in the presidential election.

It recommended that the Prime Minister will be in charge of supervising and execution of the day-to-day functions and affairs of the Government as he would be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly.

The report also recommended the creation of the position of the Leader of the Official Opposition, reserved for the runner-up of the presidential election.

It further recommended legislators to sit in the Cabinet in a mixed system approach comprising technocrats and politicians.

The task force is expected to give directions on the question of the possibility of Kenya holding a referendum this year after the Head of State gave the clearest indication yet during his 57th Madaraka Day speech that the change of the Constitution would end the cycle of the winner take it all that usually leads to post-election violence.

The Bill which is currently in its first reading aims to provide a fair process in order to obtain a clear expression of the will of the people by establishing the procedure for the conduct of referendums.

The Bill, sponsored by the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee chairperson Jeremiah Kioni, if enacted into law, will regulate the procedure to amend the Constitution by popular initiative.

The BBI team was constituted by President Kenyatta and Odinga following their March 2018 handshake in a political truce that led to a cordial working relationship between them.

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