alexa Power-sharing top on agenda as BBI team hearings end - Daily Nation

Power-sharing top on agenda as BBI team hearings end

Friday August 16 2019

Building Bridges Initiative

Members of the Building Bridges Initiative Taskforce during a forum at the KICC in Nairobi on August 6, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JUSTUS OCHIENG'
By JUSTUS OCHIENG'
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As the Building Bridges Initiative team retreats to write its report after gathering views across the country, several big issues are expected to preoccupy the members.

Politicians, pundits and experts opine that the structure of the Executive will be a point of contention. Is there need for a prime minister’s position or not?

Another key issue will be devolution: What elements of devolution have worked and which ones need to be adjusted?

Submissions to the team, which visited all the 47 counties, also centred around the constitutional commissions. Will they be axed or reconstituted?

Also featuring prominently was the matter of the electoral agency. What changes will be undertaken to ensure future elections are not controversial?

GENESIS

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Arising from the ashes of a contentious election and the controversial swearing-in of Opposition leader Raila Odinga as the ‘people’s president’, the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga made a raft of proposals that would ensure the country is unified.

To ensure this, the two leaders unveiled a team to oversee the rollout of a programme that will implement their shared objectives of addressing ethnic antagonism and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, safety and security and corruption.

The team’s report will inform, among other things, constitutional changes on several issues that have repeatedly cropped up.

Confirming the retreat, the team’s co-secretary, Mr Paul Mwangi, on Thursday said members would take all the information they had gathered into consideration.

“As we speak, we are on retreat now considering all the information we have. We have visited all the 47 counties, listened to all the stakeholders who asked to be listened to and received all the memorandums,” he said.

GOVERNANCE

Mr Mwangi said they were targeting finalising the report next month. “The timeline we had was up to October, but we have said we shall most likely finalise it before then,” he stated.

The secretary noted that once complete, the report will be presented to President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga. They support a gavernance system that does not make anyone fees excluded.

“The presidential system, is it the best the country wants? It is said in other jurisdictions that in multi-ethnic societies, the presidential system enhances divisions. Each of the community only feels safe when one of them is at the top. At Bomas, we had proposed a hybrid system which is both parliamentary and presidential," Mr Odinga said.