Politicians must practice the BBI unity they promise

Does it really mark a new dawn?

In Summary

• The BBI report proposes an amended presidential system rather than a true parliamentary system.
• The BBI report contains many positive radical proposals to clean up the political system.

At long last, the report of the Building Bridges Initiative has been made public.

Supporters of a true parliamentary system may be disappointed that the BBI proposal is only for a tweaked presidential system whereby a prime minister is jointly chosen by MPs and the president.

However, many other proposals can be game changers. If the gender rule is implemented for party candidate lists, there will be many more women in politics. If wealth declaration forms are made public, then we can vet the behaviour of our leaders.

If public officers are banned from doing business with the government, it will curb corruption. If salaried public officers don’t get sitting allowances, then government will become less bureaucratic.

Yesterday in Bomas, politicians welcomed the BBI report as a new dawn that will bring unity and inclusivity to Kenya.

But these politicians need to practice what they preach. Once elections come around again, they are likely to retreat back into their tribal cocoons and start abusing their opponents.

The new dawn will only come when our leaders start to campaign on policy proposals and not on ethnic alliances.

Quote of the day: "Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan."

Margaret Thatcher 
The British prime minister resigned on November 28, 1990.