OPPOSITE OF OBJECTIVE

BBI has sparked political rivalry it was meant to solve

Initiative locked out other leaders in its making, how can it now solve inclusivity?

In Summary

• Regional leaderships are taking stances they say best reflect their agenda, forgetting that no region's interest can be satisfied by a single policy. 

• Logic behind the initiative could have been good but its marketers seem to have other agenda. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga during the handshake last year on March 9, the Building Bridges Initiative arose from it
POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS: President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga during the handshake last year on March 9, the Building Bridges Initiative arose from it
Image: JACK OWUOR

The BBI report will be handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta anytime now but the dust it’s raising shows that it is heralding a political antagonism whose solution it was supposed to find.

This is an oddity that the proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative report should by now have appreciated and found a way of correcting. First, the process started on the wrong footing. Then defiant, illegal spending ensued. Also, no attempt was made to broaden the ownership of the initiative.

So, while one of the much-vaunted mandates of the proposal was inclusivity–whatever it means to the initiators– no attempts were made to bring on board the leaders who enjoy huge support and mandate in Kenya’s politics and administration. The best attempt that was made was that ‘we have taken a stand so you have to follow’.

In as much as the handshake that bore the proposal is laudable, it would have pulled in more leaders from across the country in its formation. Now with the report, regional leaderships are taking stances that they say best reflect their agenda, forgetting that getting every region’s interest is a herculean task that no single policy, legal or administrative blueprint can satisfy.  With this, therefore, comes political realignments.

I dare say that what such narrow, single agenda couched in attractive points will breed is a complete opposite of it’s stated objective. The stated agenda doesn’t look the same as what’s being propagated, at least from ODM leader Raila Odinga’s point of view.

As the country readies itself to look at what the report contains, a contested debate will surely surface. The thinking behind the process could have been good, but the marketers have their other agenda, or so it seems. 

 

Economic and political analyst