Kenya: Governor Mutua Urges Kenyatta to Form Consensus Team on BBI

28 October 2020

Nairobi — Maendeleo Chap Chap Party Leader Alfred Mutual has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a consensus team on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) proposals unveiled this week.

Mutua said the team should involve all key players at the top-Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The BBI report that calls for the expansion of the Executive with the creation of the Prime Minister's post, two deputies and the Leader of Official Opposition is a product of Kenyatta's truce with Odinga in what is popularly known as the handshake of March 2018.

While Kenyatta and Raila read from the same script on in calling for support of the proposals, Ruto is seen to pull to the opposite side asking Kenyans to demand for a review of the recommendations before they can support them.

Kenyatta and Raila said the BBI report is aimed at entrenching inclussivity by doing away with the winner take it all after elections but Ruto claims it hasn't, a view widely dismissed by proponents of the report who say the loser in the presidential election shall assume the Official Opposition post complete with an office in Parliament and will set up a shadow cabinet.

It is such differences that Mutua say needs to be harmonised by a consensus team that should be chaired by the president.

"I propose as a first step, the President formally appoints and chairs a consensus team comprising the Deputy President, Raila and all other party leaders to begin consensus building to avoid polarising the country," Mutua said.

A national debate on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report has kicked off in earnest in what is set to dominate the social space for months.

As expected, the battle lines have been drawn along the political divide, with more rifts forming, in an initiative seeking to unite the country.

There are those hailing Deputy President William Ruto's sentiments during the launch as legendary and the lot that feel it was just empty rhetoric, admonishing him for his hustler nation movement which has been described as a scheme to win the youth by making them think along 'class' in reference to the rich and poor.

Following the formal launch of the BBI report, the next step for its proponents will be the collection of 1 million signatures needed to prepare Kenyans as they head to a referendum.

The signatures are then expected to be delivered to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) together with the draft BBI Bill for verification.

The BBI Bill will then be sent to all the 47 county assemblies.

If a county assembly approves the draft Bill, the speaker shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it.

If the draft Bill has been approved by a majority of the county assemblies, it shall be introduced in Parliament without delay.

If a majority of the members of each House pass the Bill, it shall be sent to the President for assent.

But before then, it remains unclear whether the ongoing national debate about the document will culminate in yet another amendment- which analysts say can be introduced in Parliament.

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