Building Bridges Initiative starts nationwide tours

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga with members of the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce at State House, Nairobi in September. [File, Standard]
After several false starts, blamed on lack of funds, the Building Bridges Initiative is now up and running.

The 14-member team, whose names were gazetted in March this year after the ‘handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, is set to move to the people this week to seek their views on how to implement its agenda.

The team has also moved to a new office in Nairobi's Runda and has a new chief administrator.

“We will be in Kitui on Tuesday and Machakos on Wednesday,” said Prof Adams Oloo, one of the team’s members.

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He said the team would be out to collect collect views on its nine-point unity agenda.  

The team, which has at times been accused of being 'overly secretive', moves to the ground with Ambassador Stephen Karau, the new chief executive officer, set to oversee its operations.

Previously, Ambassador Martin Kimani and lawyer Paul Mwangi, the joint secretaries, also acted as joint CEOs.

The new boss was brought on board about two weeks ago to provide leadership and link the team to the public.

The team is tasked with coming up with practical recommendations and reform proposals that will build lasting unity.

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It is also required to outline the policy, administrative reform proposals, and implementation modalities for each identified challenge area; and conduct consultations with citizens, the faith-based sector, cultural leaders, the private sector and experts at both the county and national levels.

The team’s activities on the ground will now be coordinated by county commissioners under close supervision of Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, who is now the link between the group, Raila and Uhuru.

Credible sources said Kibicho was brought on board about two months ago, and was instrumental in identifying the office space in Runda for the team.

Kibicho’s appointment as the pointman and the appointment of the CEO indicate the significance the presidency attaches to the team.

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