BBI REPORT

We’re one united indivisible nation

One key ingredient we must cultivate going forward is trust.

In Summary
  • It’s been one week since the BBI report was launched. Have you read it? What are your thoughts?
  • Or are you waiting for your tribal chieftain to give it the thumbs up so you can support blindly?

The story is told of a large engine that failed and no one knew how to fix it. An old man came and after studying it took out a hammer from his bag and tapped the engine, which roared back to life. A week later, the owners were sent a $10,000 (Sh1,025,007) bill. They protested to the old man who simply replied that tapping with a hammer cost $2 (Sh205) while knowing where to tap cost $9,998 (Sh1,024,802).

The lesson here is that effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference. And so I ask, it’s been one week since the BBI report was launched. Have you read it? What are your thoughts? Or are you waiting for your tribal chieftain to give it the thumbs up so you can support blindly?

The importance of this document to Kenya, Kenyans and the future of this nation cannot be understated. And this was clear from the speeches at the launch last week and the reactions that followed. Kenyans had waited 20 months to know the BBI task force’s verdict, and what it would mean for our future. The findings are specific and the proposed solutions are apt. Kenyans will only have themselves to blame if nothing happens afterwards.

First, let me congratulate the BBI team for a job well done. As with the old man, the hammer and faulty engine story, it’s not about the what, but the how, based on experience.

It is trust we must build if Kenya is to be a peaceful, prosperous and fair nation.
BBI report

Second, what captured my imagination and that of the many Kenyans are the speeches we heard at the launch. It was a clear indication that all Kenyans – leaders and their followers – want a united nation that can match forward together into prosperity.

What struck me the most was the conciliatory speeches made by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC leader Mudavadi and all of the other leaders. Without a doubt, the speech by the Tanzania Foreign minister was the highlight of the day.

It took a Tanzanian for Kenyans to realise the need to put aside their tribal differences, and focus on uniting the nation. Nyerere, through Ujamaa, united Tanzania beyond tribes and this is what we need in Kenya.

The President said it best when he stated that we must institutionalise the peace we are experiencing. If we do not capitalise on this moment, we are all bound to suffer from the consequences for generations to come.

The same way we became one when Eliud Kipchoge carried our flag high, or how we were ready to defend our borders when al Shaabab attacked our nation, is the same way we must unite to transform our beloved nation.

Implementation needs goodwill and should not be approached through chest thumping like we are already witnessing. We should borrow from the launch at Bomas and focus on Kenya’s future prosperity.

All those who spoke at the launch had a singular message of commitment. They all committed to work together, alongside other Kenyans, to face these challenges in a united manner for the sake of a Kenya that is cohesive and peaceful.

And one of the key ingredients that we must cultivate moving forward is trust. As the BBI report notes; “It is trust we must build if Kenya is to be a peaceful, prosperous and fair nation.”

And so as we move towards the implementation phase of the BBI, let us all think how many challenges we have overcome in the past. Let us think of the bond that has made us unbreakable as a nation.

Implementation needs goodwill and should not be approached through chest thumping like we are already witnessing. We should borrow from the launch at Bomas and focus on Kenya’s future prosperity.

At the end of it all, this country needs all of us to ensure that we drive together towards a common goal. BBI gives us this opportunity to think and address the issues therein.

So, take a copy of the BBI report and read to ensure that you are not misled and so you can contribute to this reform agenda effectively.