Politicians, electorate should engage in sober debate on BBI

Locals attend the BBI consultative meeting at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on January 18, 2020. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]
At the heart of democracy is undeniable rights of a citizen to express their opinions without fear of discrimination or unfair treatment.

Unfortunately, this is not happening in many countries where oppressive political systems continue to limit the enjoyment of universal human rights.

Kenya has a lifetime chance to allow its citizens to read, critique and find common ground on the way forward.

With the recent launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, it has become clear that some politicians have been given a crucial agenda.

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In the words of James Clarke, a politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.

However, politicians are way off the mark in the debate about the future of BBI report, one which was birthed due to the famous handshake between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

Keen observation of endless utterances by political class reveal underlying interest that the citizens must be cognisant of.

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At the heart of BBI is the need to unite the nation around national ethos and build an all-inclusive State where, regardless of tribe or political affiliations, we all feel represented in governance.

Unfortunate at the core of political class is about keeping their political turfs, winning the next election and Uhuru’s succession. Rather than seeking to maintain moral and fiduciary responsibility offered to them by the virtue of their elected positions, most politician will debate BBI on its probability to injecting new life and energy to help them stay relevant.

SEE ALSO :Pro-democracy group now supports BBI report

Another factor that is likely to complicate honest discussion of BBI report, is the undeclared interest of the Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 political interest.

Quick glimpse of Twitter posts show bloggers that have already taken sides. In essence daggers have been drawn.

The recent mega rallies held in Kisii and Kakamega are just but the start of long process and Kenya must not let this chance go without meaningfully engaging the document with hope to shape the governance process of the country.

And latest change of tune by Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen and other MPs to support the process should be applauded rather than being seen as having a hidden motive.

To succeed, we must bring all Kenyans on board while being cautions of the political class often with hidden agenda.

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It’s here that we must take time to read the document and stay away from misleading utterances by the political class. The media must be an ally of the people. Religious leaders can bring neutral perspective with the help of few sane policymakers to help Kenyans make an informed decision, one that is not self-driven or politically motivated but rather one that takes hopes and aspirations of Kenyans to proper practice. 

Saruni Lemargeroi, Samburu

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DemocracyBBI reportBuilding Bridges Initiative