GEMA’s views of the BBI

The executive council of the GEMA Cultural Association observes that the BBI report initiative has calmed the nation and put it on a course towards resolving its perennial election-related con?icts. In particular, the proposals for inclusivity and the dignifying of the opposition, by reinstating office of the Leader of Official Opposition who should be actively involved in political discourse in parliament.

We also appreciate and affirm the proposal of ensuring that electoral and economic justice is done, by protecting the “One-man-One vote” approach which should subsequently be used in allocating resources, on the basis of population demographics rather than merely on size of land. We have observed that some of the proposals in BBI report will require intensive discussions and ?ne tuning by all Kenyans so that changes that are effected are genuine, authentic and capable of addressing our fundamental challenges, but not cosmetically discussed and merely passed.

 In this respect, we have committed to keenly read and understand the BBI report, facilitate its rollout in all our branches and Counties, and urge all our people to actively participate in the fora created for civic education on the same. We are concerned that politicians from the large political formations have ignored the contents of the BBI report and in a clever and diversionary manner pro?led the method of its approval as a matter to ?ght over.

 As Kenyans, we can see through the veneer and refuse to be manipulated into chasing mirages when serious matters are on the table. We urge them all to address the contents of the report ?rst, ensure that their constituents and electorates understand the issues and address themselves to the options available. The method of validating the report will be determined at the appropriate time. Kenyans are determined to facilitate the changes that are crucial through the methods provided in the constitution, by either direct or delegated enactment routes.

They do not need to be subjected to the methodology contests which add no value to the processes. Election mood We express our concern that even though the next elections are more than two years away, elected leaders and politicians from across the divides, have kept the country in an election mood, thus undermining economic engagement and sound social-political discourse.

We appeal to our politicians to observe good political etiquette and desist from toxic messaging and insults. In particular, we renounce the increasing pattern where all political energies appear directed to the Mt Kenya region where some politicians are constantly insulting the President with impunity. Kenyans are watching this political drama with great concern.

Economic Distress

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The country is wallowing in serious economic stagnation creating heightened pressure which is being felt by ordinary Kenyans across the land. Let us stop the blame game and agree that all leaders take responsibility and play their roles. We note that most of the services which generally would help to address and reverse this situation are devolved and therefore should be handled by County governments.

 We urge that elected leaders offer leadership in the Counties and their respective constituencies in addressing the peoples pressing challenges by promoting pro?table farming, marketing of produce, and various other economic activities that would put money in peoples’ pockets. We commend the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for their resolute confrontation and prosecution of suspects of corruption. Whereas what has been done may appear too little too late, we urge that the purge is intensi?ed and that the courts speed up trials for economic crimes and corruption in order to spur the ?ght.

We also urge that the corruption cases are conducted in a manner to remove suspicions of selected targets. There are many people that the public suspect are culprits and yet they walk freely, appearing to be protected from their mischief and theft often by the same corrupt practices. They should all be investigated and charged.

— Bishop Lawi Imathiu is the Chairman of the Gema Cultural Association.

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