Even before the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) releases its report, a civil society organisation has dismissed it, saying it will not solve the country’s problems.
The Uwazi Foundation, in a report titled "Captured at conception, the unlikely promise of BBI and the quest for reforming Kenya", says the current constitution is adequate but lacks implementation.
Speaking during the launch of the report Thursday, the former chair of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, Mr Yash Pal Ghai, said the current constitution has the best bill of rights in the world, but that the country only lacks constitutionalism
The civil society group questioned the way the team was put together, noting that it was not formed through Parliament or the Cabinet, so the issues it seeks to address are not public policies.
“It is apparent that the administrative and the executive branches of the State were not involved in the agreement on shared objectives between the two leaders, therefore, going by the definition of the public policy, the agreement between the two leaders does not amount to public policy,” says the report.
The foundation also questioned whether it is legal to follow up on individual agreements on shared personal objectives using State resources, noting that the launch of the BBI as a task force was facilitated by public funds.
Formed almost 18 months ago, after the March 9, 2018, peace agreement between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga following sporadic violence witnessed after the 2017 presidential election, the BBI team has concluded its public hearings and is expected to release its report by the end of this month.
In their joint communique in March, 2018, titled "Building bridges to a new Kenya nation”, President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga announced the roll-out of the BBI, which would implement their shared objectives of tackling ethnic antagonism and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, safety and security, and corruption.
But Uwazi says the nine points on which the BBI has been collecting views are historical and have been addressedby past task forces and commissions of enquiry.
They also questioned the selection of the 14 members, saying most of them have known political affiliations, which might have led to their selection, so their report will have a political bias.