• Raila is spearheading the BBI consultative forums
• Politicians have been accused of hijacking the process
ODM leader Raila Odinga has held discussions with four governors from the coast region ahead of the third BBI forum to be held in Mombasa on Saturday.
Raila met Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta) and Dadho Godhana (Tana River) at his Upper Hill office in Nairobi.
The ODM leader is spearheading the BBI consultative forums and has been the chief guest in the first two meetings in Kisii and Kakamega.
The BBI task force is however yet to make public the venues and the dates of the next forums.
Joint secretary Paul Mwangi told the Star yesterday that his office will communicate in a day or two where and when the next forums will be held.
But questions have been asked about the effectiveness and efficiency of the consultative meetings.
Politicians have been accused of hijacking the process as wananchi are denied the opportunity to air their voices on the BBI report during forums held so far.
During the forums in Kisii and Kakamega, the majority of speakers were governors and legislators.
Members of civil society under the National Civil Society Congress said they were concerned over how the BBI forums are being conducted, cautioning that politicians were taking over the process.
The chair of National Civil Society Congress, Morris Odhiambo, said the voices of ordinary Kenyans should be given a fair chance in the constitutional amendment debate.
He cited a document from western region governors listing demands of what should be in the BBI report.
“What if we flip it around and have a document that says what farmers from western or from the coast want to be included in the BBI report,” he explained.
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has advised that the ongoing consultative forums should be organised in a better way to yield the desired results.
Lusaka noted that the forums have been turned into a platform for politicians to air their views on the proposed constitutional amendments.
He cited the first forum held in Kisii, where the function was taken over by the political elite.
There have also been questions on how civic education could be conducted at forums with very huge gatherings.
The leaders addressed more than 3,000 delegates at Kisii Golf Course while Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium had about 30,000 people.
Ambrose Weda, a political commentator, said the forums have been turned into platforms for politicians to air their views.
“Wananchi are not involved in this at all. People are just cheering when they are told this document is good,” he explained.
Deputy President William Ruto has since told the BBI task force to come up with a countrywide programme that would accommodate the views of all Kenyans.
He further asked leaders to respect those with divergent views and give them the opportunity to freely express themselves.