A month after their mandate ended, the ‘Handshake’ task force will finally hand in its report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The chairman of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) for National Unity Advisory Taskforce, Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, on Friday said his team had secured a meeting with the President and Mr Odinga next week.
“It is now our privilege to inform the public that an appointment to hand the report to the President has been arranged for Tuesday, November 26, 2019,” Mr Haji told journalists at a press conference in Nairobi on Friday.
The task force’s mandate concluded on October 23 and for a month, the team has been waiting to hand over its report.
When he met Mt Kenya leaders on November 15, President Kenyatta announced that the report will be printed in bulk and distributed to Kenyans so they can read and understand the team's findings and recommendations.
The task force was gazetted on May 24, 2018 following the March 8 unity pact between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, popularly known as the Handshake, after a bitter political falling-out during the August 2017 General Election.
The unity pact, the two had said, was meant to unite the country.
However, the Handshake and the subsequent formation of the task force has caused tension within the ruling Jubilee Party, with two factions - Kieleweke, which is on Mr Kenyatta's side, and Tangatanga, which is allied to Deputy President William Ruto - going for each other over the perceived intention of the task force.
The DP's camp has been opposed to the Handshake and the task force, which they say are meant to scuttle DP Ruto’s presidential ambitions in 2022.
But President Kenyatta sought to allay those fears during the Sagana meeting. He told Mt Kenya leaders that his political truce with Mr Odinga should not be seen as an endorsement for the 2022 presidential race but that it was limited to the country’s peace.
As a result of the division over the task force, the BBI has become the subject of speculation as political temperatures rise.
On Friday, the team warned of “the flood of false reports that are circulating on social media claiming to be from BBI”.
“The misrepresentations are designed to sow confusion and division among Kenyans at a time when there is a strong national consensus on the need for cohesion, honesty and ambition to change our country for the better,” said Mr Haji.
In coming up with the report, the senator said, the team interacted with at least 7,000 Kenyans, visited all 47 counties, and heard from more than 400 current and former elected leaders and 123 people representing major institutions including constitutional bodies.
The team also received 261 email submissions and 755 handwritten ones.