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No political leanings in building bridges report: Amos Wako

Tuesday June 4 2019

Amos Wako

A file photo of Busia Senator and former Attorney-General Amos Wako, who is a member of the Building Bridges Initiative Task Force. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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The Building Bridges Initiative Task Force will, at the end of its term, present a balanced report capturing Kenyans' aspirations on cohesion, government and constitutional reforms.

This is according to Busia Senator and former Attorney-General Amos Wako, who is a member of the team.

Mr Wako said on Tuesday that the report will not be affected by political leanings or individuals as some people fear.

“We have not taken position on the raging constitutional debate in the country because that does not form part of our mandate," he explained.

"We will capture what Kenyans have said on various issues relating to socio-economic and political development."

DEBATE

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Members of the political class are divided on whether the country should review the Constitution ahead of the 2022 general election.

Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been involved in a public spat on the matter, with President Uhuru Kenyatta appearing to take the middle ground by avoiding the issue altogether in his speeches.

Some of the President’s close allies have, however, voiced their support for the proposed plebiscite, in what has been viewed as a subtle endorsement by Mr Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga, who is Orange Democratic Movement leader, earlier used his address at Chatham House in the UK to drum up support for the initiative.

The 14-persons BBI team was formed following his famous May 9, 2018 handshake with President Kenyatta.

At Chatham, Mr Odinga told the international community that the BBI will unite Kenyans and heal the nation from past injustices

WHIMS

Mr Wako said the final report that will be presented to the President will be informed by what Kenyans have shared with the team and not what individuals want.

“We do not work in the whims of individuals as the country is bigger than all of us,” he said.

He said a majority of Kenyans at the grassroots level rooted for inclusivity in governance so that the country moves forward in development and creation of job opportunities.

The senator spoke at a Kericho hotel on Monday during a public hearing in the county, a meeting that vice chairman Dr Adams Oloo and Major (Retired) and John Seii attended.

PATIENCE

Major Seii called on Kenyans to be patient as members of the task force collect views from all the 47 counties.

He said the team accepted written memoranda by people unable to present their views in person.

So far, the team has visited 33 counties collecting views on the initiative.

Dr Oloo commended Kericho residents on a solid approach in the presentation of their issues to the team.