In Summary
  • The team led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji has been regularly briefing Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga on the progress and is expected to retreat at the end of the month to draft the final report before its term ends in September.
  • Under the Punguza Mizigo banner, the team led by Ekuru Aukot wants to reduce the cost of running government and make life more bearable for the citizens.
  • On Saturday, Mr Aden Duale, the leader of majority in the National Assembly, said it is the people who will decide which form of governance they want.

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force is poised to recommend fundamental reorganisation of the country’s governance structure. This comes as the team’s tenure is set to come to an end in the coming weeks.

Information on a preliminary brief to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, which the Sunday Nation is privy to, reveals immense support for that route as informed by overwhelming submissions.

As the details of the task force findings filter through, it is also turning out that most of the operatives in the state have now welcomed the idea of a referendum in what not only promises to alter the country’s political architecture ahead of the 2022 General Election, but may also see Mr Kenyatta’s Deputy William Ruto’s mettle tested ahead of the watershed poll by taking the opposing side in the plebiscite.

FINAL REPORT

The team led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji has been regularly briefing Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga on the progress and is expected to retreat at the end of the month to draft the final report before its term ends in September.

“We are well on course and within schedule,” Senator Haji said.

The BBI members met researchers on Monday, a team of experts who are analysing the voluminous data mostly in the form of memoranda received over the last six months.

Some of the researchers we spoke to in confidence disclosed that, other than altering the system of governance, a majority of submissions raised concerns on the rising cost of living and how it should be tamed. They were also concerned about the rising public wage bill, the Sunday Nation has learnt.

Key opposition leaders such as Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula support a vote to change the supreme law of the land. Mr Kenyatta is expected to support the position taken by the BBI.

While Mr Haji said it was premature to start discussions about a referendum or any other route to alter the laws of the land, sources within the team intimate that “the proposal to expand executive is stronger than any other aspects”, a pointer to what the final recommendations are likely to be.

GREATEST DEBATE

It is the whole talk about reintroduction of the prime minister’s seat that has elicited the greatest debate in the political sphere.

The DP says the idea is intended to create positions for poll losers. Mr Ruto, who has his eyes trained on the presidency in 2022, would like to inherit the seat in its current form.

Last week, Mr Haji told the Sunday Nation that they were splitting into groups to swiftly cover some ten counties, which are yet to be visited.

Mr Francis Muthaura, who now chairs the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) board, maintains that among other changes, Cabinet Secretaries should be picked from among lawmakers as was the case before the laws were changed in 2010.

He argues that while the idea of picking CSs from outside Parliament was meant to free the President’s hands to be able to scout for talent, the move had seen the government become too alienated from the people.

Those in support say having MPs sit in Cabinet will create a nexus that is not only good for service delivery but also allow CSs to be more candid with the President in terms of advice without fear that they could be rendered jobless without a fall-back plan.

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