• Korane sought to assure the youth that their concerns will be fully included in the final report.
• Some Garissa MCAs want the teacher crisis fixed before the county can hold a BBI popularisation meeting.
Garissa Governor Ali Korane on Monday said the BBI will offer an opportunity for Kenyans to fix unemployment, inclusivity problems and poverty.
He urged the youth to own the Building Bridges Initiative report because they will be the biggest beneficiaries once the proposed changes to the Constitution are passed. Korane appealed to the youth to educate other residents on BBI agenda and avoid “dangerous speculations” aimed at scuttling the initiative. He spoke soon after getting proposals from the Garissa Youth for BBI.
This came ahead of the BBI popularisation rally scheduled for February 23 in Garissa town. Korane is in charge of the BBI in Northeastern.
“The extreme economic inequalities and unemployment is a fact in our country and county today and a chance to cushion the youth from such extremes has come. Let’s be part of the change to determine our destiny,” the county chief said.
He sought to assure the youth that their concerns will be fully taken care of in the final report, adding that they form the backbone of the country’s political and socioeconomic status. The BBI rally had been scheduled for the next weekend but was delayed to make room for further public discussions and the return of ODM leader Raila Odinga from the US. Korane had announced the changes on his Facebook page.
Korane expressed concern over insecurity, which he blamed for hampering economic development. He said security will be a critical part of their memorandum to the BBI steering committee.
He regretted that a Garissa-bound team from the Netherlands had to cancel its journey following an advisory by their embassy on the security situation in the county. The team was to visit for a digital literacy programme following an MoU they signed with Garissa. They were already in Nairobi at the time they cancelled the visit.
“It is unfortunate that most of our county programmes that were set to kick off with the help of foreign partners have stalled because of al Shabab attacks in some parts of the county. This is unacceptable. We need to find long-term solutions once and for all,” Korane said.
Last Friday, a section of Garissa MCAs poured cold water on the meeting, saying residents are not ready for the rally as long as the teacher crisis remains unresolved. Non-local teachers have been transferred to other regions following safety concerns due to terror attacks.
Led by assembly deputy speaker Mohamed Abass, the leaders urged the Teachers Service Commission to first return the teachers “before any other business can take place”.
“Surely, how do you expect us to mobilise our people to attend a rally and listen to politicians talk about the BBI when hundreds of children are not in school because of lack of teachers? Let’s not cheat each other,” Abass said.
Last week, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale Duale (Garissa Township) said he won't attend the Garissa rally, adding instead that he will present his proposals to the steering committee.