Raila happy with Building Bridges team's progress - Daily Nation
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Building Bridges taskforce gives Raila progress report

Thursday August 2 2018

 Building Bridges

ODM leader Raila Odinga. He has received a report from the Building Bridges to Unity Advisory Task Force. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JUSTUS WANGA
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The Building Bridges to Unity Advisory Task Force on Wednesday presented its work plan to opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The taskforce's chairman Yusuf Haji and his vice Adams Oloo delivered the report at Mr Odinga's Capitol Hill office in Nairobi.

"We came to give Mr Odinga an update of the arrangements we have in place. We are organising a national convention where wananchi are expected to give their input on matters that concern them.

"After that, we will organise regional and town hall meetings to interact with those who may not have a chance to come to Nairobi," Garissa Senator Haji said.

Mr Odinga is said to have been satisfied with the strides made.

UHURU MEETING

The visit comes after a meeting between the ODM leader and President Uhuru Kenyatta last week at the Coast, which observers billed as a sign of major changes in government in the coming weeks.

A member who was present told the Nation that a similar brief had been forwarded to Mr Kenyatta who is on a working tour in Lamu.

They intend to meet him too this month.

"There’s a pending meeting with the President. This will take place this month as we rollout our programmes according to the committee’s mandate," the source said.

The taskforce was established in March by the two leaders, intending to promote lasting peace and unity in the country.

FUNDING

It also emerged that delays in getting money from the National Treasury was holding back most of the committee’s activities five weeks after gazettement.

"They would not admit it but the situation, among other factors, informed the postponement of the convention initially planned for the first week of August.

"Soon we will be able to tell Kenyans where our offices are located," Mr Haji said.

The conference - which was to be attended by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga - had been earmarked for August 6 and 8 at the Bomas of Kenya.

When eventually convened, it would bring together grassroots leaders, women, youth, elders and the disabled, among others, drawn from the 47 counties.

The mandate of the body should end sometime in March next year, the period within which it should have handed its report to President Kenyatta.

MEMORANDA

At the same time, the outfit was on Wednesday evening working on an advert to run in the leading dailies, calling on the public to submit written memoranda on how differently they want public affairs conducted with specific reference to the ongoing fight against corruption.

Lawyer Paul Mwangi - who together with Ambassador Martin Kimani are joint secretaries and spokespersons of the taskforce - said Kenyans had already heeded their call for written submissions.

"Memoranda are streaming in. Our emails have been very busy in the last one week.

"We encourage more people to come forward and help us achieve the dream of a better country; we assure them that the president and Mr Odinga will take their inputs seriously," Mr Mwangi said.

SHARED OBJECTIVES

Last week, Mr Odinga described as ‘lost’ those who are opposed to his cooperation with Mr Kenyatta, the newfound working relationship that gave birth to the building bridges idea on March 9.

The 14-member team - which also has religious leaders and elders in its rank - is charged with coming up with solutions to areas of shared objectives by the duo on tackling ethnic antagonism and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, safety and security and corruption.

And the announcement by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, a co-principal with Mr Odinga in Nasa (an opposition alliance that faced off with Mr Kenyatta in the August 8, 2017 elections), over the weekend that he supports Mr Kenyatta's government may further strengthen the resolve and spirit of the handshake.