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Building Bridges team to hand in report early September

Monday August 5 2019

BBI Chairman Yusuf Haji

BBI Chairman Yusuf Haji (right) receives a proposal from Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana in Hola on August 4, 2019 as the task-force wound up it tours of the 47 counties. PHOTO | STEPHEN ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STEPHEN ODUOR
By STEPHEN ODUOR
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The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) will finalise and hand in their report to President Uhuru Kenyatta early September, the task-force’s chairman Yusuf Haji has said.

The team, comprising vice-chairman Adams Oloo, Busia Senator Amos Wako, Said Mwaguni, Ole Ronkei and Agnes Muthama, Monday wound up their final tour in Tana River County where leaders and residents gave their proposals.

Speaking to journalists, Mr Haji said that having received all submissions, the team will embark on an audit starting Monday, where they will pick what citizens in the 47 counties have agreed on for a final draft.

MEMORANDA

"We still are asking for the top leadership comprising of the chief justice, Senate and the National Assembly to also give their proposals to the BBI so that when we write our report on Monday, we draw it from their memorandums and even Hansard as well," he said.

He said the proposals received will form the basis of possible constitutional changes and future solutions to matters that have been ailing the nation after every election.

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A collective dialogue report by Tana River County leaders was handed over to the BBI team.

The dialogues saw Tana River leaders propose a collective government system with a rotational presidency. In this, the president will be ruling for one term of seven years and there will be eight premiers drawn from eight regions of the country.

INCLUSIVITY

The leaders said the problems the country faces after every election have nothing to do with positions at the bottom but rather lack of inclusivity.

"The problem we face after every election in this country is as a result of power gambling at the helm of government and discrimination in terms of development where certain regions are left out of the cake," said Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana.

Mr Godhana said the current system of leadership is not fit for the future of the country and neither would a three tier system of governance as many regions are still not developed, hence the animosity and ethnic strife.

The governor added that it will be proper if all regions have an individual at the bargaining table as a prime minister, where eventually he or she will be considered by the community for future presidential positions through an election.

ROTATIONAL PRESIDENCY

"In future, if we can have a situation where each region gets an opportunity to lead at the presidency, then we will come out of these shackles of struggle for power since every region will wait for their [turn]hence eliminating the [argument] of minority and majority groups," he said.

The governor, who backed Punguza Mizigo initiative, described the idea as an absolute key to reducing unnecessary burden, hence saving the country from the huge wage bill.

But he noted that reducing the number of counties, constituencies and wards will be unwise as it will contradict the spirit of devolution as initially intended.

"The key purpose for devolution is to bring the services closer to the citizens at the village level. If we are going to reduce wards, counties and constituencies, we will be fighting that spirit," Governor Godhana said.

MORE REVENUE

He said counties need more revenue allocation which will equally trickle to ward levels and hence reaching the common citizen at the grassroots.

His sentiments were backed by Tana River Woman Rep Rehema Hassan, who said the county needs more wards and constituencies.

Ms Rehema said the some counties are vast, with some wards in Tana River the same size as some constituencies in another regions.

"We are not for the idea of merging counties and constituencies but rather to champion for a stronger devolution," she said.

Galole MP Said Hiribae faulted the procedure used to draw boundaries, saying that the needs of the people in a particular area and not numbers, should be used to determine constituencies.

Locals put the BBI team to task when they sought to know why it had no gender and regional balance despite vouching for matters of national interest

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