By all indications, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is far from achieving its core target; bridging the political divide in the country. If anything, more chasms appear each passing day.
The ruling Jubilee party is split down the middle. A faction allied to Deputy President (DP) William Ruto, and indeed the DP himself, are skeptical about the BBI.
They view it as a vehicle through which ODM party leader Raila Odinga seeks to revive his political prospects for the 2022 presidential contest.
Yet despite the opposition to BBI, President Uhuru Kenyatta is determined to see the process through to its logical conclusion.
Through a gazette notice early this week, the president extended the mandate of the 14-member team to June 30, 2020. The team is, therefore, expected to propose statutory and constitutional amendments that will facilitate implementation of the BBI report that was released in November 2019. With its work cut out by the BBI’s nine-point agenda, the taskforce must hit the ground running. In particular, it must address complaints that the public was not adequately involved before BBI released its report.
In truth, even now the greater public is not apprised of the full contents of the report because unlike in the run up to the new the constitution, no copies have been made publicly available.
BBI should address issues that threaten to tear the country apart. To debunk the perception that the taskforce is merely going through the motions to rubber stamp a previously prepared document, open public forums are advised. Lack of inclusivity in key national undertakings is partly responsible for the quagmire the country finds itself in today, and must be addressed.