HANDSHAKE REPORT

Nine key issues BBI report addresses

In Summary

• Uhuru convened a major meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday where the report will be officially released to the public.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Deputy President Dr. William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce members when he received the taskforce's report at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Deputy President Dr. William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce members when he received the taskforce's report at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
Image: PSCU

The BBI taskforce officially submitted the Building Bridges Initiative report to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday.

Present were Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Uhuru convened a major meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday where the report will be officially released to the public.

 
 

The head of state invited about 100 leaders from each of the 47 counties to Bomas.

The report has the objective to, among other things, resolve ethnic animosity.

On March 9, 2018, Uhuru and Raila agreed on the nine points with an aim "to create a united nation for all Kenyans living today, and all future generations."

Here are the nine issues BBI was tasked to address:

1. Corruption

Corruption is an existential threat to Kenya.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader  Raila Odinga promised to stand together to ensure that political affiliation shall not be used to shield those who are found to be corrupt.

2. Lack of a national ethos

 
 

Kenya is today increasingly being affected by negative politics.

 Uhuru and Raila said they will define and promote a national ethos.

3. Devolution

 Uhuru and Raila said they will work together to bring counties together regardless of the political affiliation of their governors, senators and MCAs.

They vowed to make sure that counties deliver to the people. They said they will work together to hold all county governments accountable to the people.

4. Divisive elections

Every five years, the country almost comes to standstill during elections.

Investment and economic activity slow, making Kenyans lose their sources of livelihood.

Political competition often escalates beyond vibrant debate into ethnic polarisation. Personal security becomes uncertain, and often there is violence.

5. Safety and Security

Many Kenyans' lives are afflicted by natural and man-made disasters.

During the weekend, 53 residents of West Pokot lost their lives following a landslide.

 Uhuru and Raila have urged leaders, regardless of their level, in every part of the country, to stand up and demonstrate their leadership by making a practical effort to ensure that those who are hungry or in distress are aided.

6. Responsibilities and rights

BBI sought to ensure Kenyans have their human and civil rights respected and enforced.

"There is no Kenyan whose rights should be compromised no matter the interests against them."

 Uhuru and Raila urged every leader, and every Kenyan, to embrace the responsibilities.

7. Inclusivity

Inclusivity is one of the greatest challenges Kenyans face.

 "Kenyans have failed to appreciate our God-given differences in how we think, the languages we speak, the regions we come from, and the way we worship."

 Uhuru  and  Raila committed themselves to make the strongest efforts to find the right skills and attitudes from as many backgrounds and identities as possible.

They both committed to fight for inclusivity and to make sure, in an accountable and impactful way, that public institutions work to deliver to all Kenyans at the national and county level.

Nine-Point Agenda
Nine-Point Agenda

8. Shared prosperity

In parts of the country, there are many who are doing well, and Kenya continues to be a leading destination for investment into the region.

Yet too many Kenyans lack decent income, and investment lags behind those parts of the world that have developed broadly shared prosperity in the last few decades.

"We have to do much better. There are blockages, and perverse incentives against innovation, growth and job creation in our economic system," the leaders said.

Uhuru and Raila promised to work together to clear the aforementioned from every part of the country so that prosperity comes to all.

8. Ethnic antagonism and competition

Kenya has witnessed a continued deterioration of relationships between ethnic communities and political formations.

These relationships are too often characterised by aggressive antagonism and competition.

Uhuru and Raila urged every Kenyan, every political leader and formation to compete without using ethnic profiling or by promoting disdain for any group.