Uhuru, Raila meet BBI taskforce, extends term

President Uhuru Kenyatta (holding report), his deputy William Ruto, Raila Odinga and the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce members when he received the taskforce's report at State House, Nairobi last month. [PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has extended the term of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce, effectively ending speculation on who will steer the much-awaited public participation in January.

Uhuru, in the company of his BBI co-principal Raila Odinga, met the 14-member team at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday.

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena on Thursday said President Uhuru and Raila thanked the Senator Yusuf Haji-led team for putting together a report ‘that captures the aspirations of Kenyans’.

The taskforce will now be mandated with steering the next phase of the BBI process.

“This will largely involve expanding and guiding public participation, and structuring recommendations by Kenyans into implementable action plans,” Kanze Dena said.

It is unclear how long the extension would be but according to the BBI report, the implementation should be within the next 18 months.

The BBI report was unveiled on November 27, 2019 with the hope it will herald a new Kenya that is free of divisive political hostilities.

Its biggest highlight is the proposal on the structure of the Executive. It has recommended that the president and prime minister share power in a new political dispensation.

The report suggests that the president becomes the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief, while the appointee PM supervises the execution of day-to-day government affairs.

Whilst the report has been widely accepted, the political class has differed on its implementation with opposing sections agitating for a parliamentary and popular initiative respectively.

Kenyans have until January to read and make an informed opinion about the 156-page document.

Once they have read the document, they will give further recommendations they want to be included in the report.

Technical Committees of the BBI taskforce will then turn their recommendations into the legal, policy and administrative measures required for implementation.

After condensing the new proposals by Kenyans into a legal document, they will give the way forward.

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) team comprises Senator Amos Wako, Florence Omose, Prof Saeed Mwanguni, James Matundura, and Major (rtd) John Seii.

Others are Rtd Arch Bishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Maison Leshomo, Prof Morompi ole Ronkei, Bishop Peter Njenga, Makueni Women Rep Rose Museo and Agnes Kavindu.