In Summary
  • President Kenyatta announced the extension of the term of the task force on Thursday following a meeting at State House.

  • State House spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo said in a statement that the task force will steer the next phase of the process.

  • “Which will largely involve expanding and guiding public participation and structuring the recommendations of Kenyans into implementable action plans”.

The recently launched Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report will be subjected to a second round of public participation, and the Sunday Nation has learnt that the final manuscript from this nationwide exercise could be vastly different from the document launched with flamboyance and fanfare at Bomas of Kenya late last month.

GAZETTE NOTICE

Just like in the first phase, when the Building Bridges for National Unity Advisory Task Force held countrywide meetings to collect public views that informed the report launched on November 27, the team, whose term has already been extended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, is planning to have town hall meetings so that Kenyans “can contribute further to the report”, said Mr Martin Kimani, who is one of the two joint secretaries of the task force.

“I think we should wait for the gazette notice (that will formally state the terms of reference of the taskforce). It will probably be published this week, but, essentially, we are going to be leading a process through which Kenyans will contribute further to the report. We will have town hall meetings all over the country,” added Mr Kimani.

President Kenyatta announced the extension of the term of the task force on Thursday following a meeting at State House, Nairobi, on Wednesday evening with the BBI team and ODM leader Raila Odinga. 

TECHNICAL EXPERTS

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo said in a statement that the task force will steer the next phase of the process “which will largely involve expanding and guiding public participation and structuring the recommendations of Kenyans into implementable action plans”.

The term of the 14-member task force expired on October 23 this year. Its membership comprises former Defence minister Yusuf Haji, who is the chairman, Prof Adams Oloo, Busia Senator Amos Wako, Joint Secretaries Kimani and Paul Mwangi, Agnes Kavindu, Florence Omose, Prof Saeed Mwanguni, James Matundura, Major (rtd) John Seii, Bishop Lawi Imathiu and former MP Maison Leshomo.

During the new phase, a group of facilitators will join the fray. The Sunday Nation learnt that they will comprise technical experts who have been trained to support the task force to collect and incorporate public views into the enhanced report.

A major popularisation drive of the report is in the offing and the report has already been translated into Kiswahili for mass distribution.

SUMMARISED VERSION

The Haji task force is expected to meet early next week to chart the way forward. It will also meet with the facilitators.

As a way to popularise the report, the team is planning to work with local dailies, who will publish a summarised Kiswahili version of the document.

“We are currently working on the details of how people will go out to the regions,” said Mr Kimani. “Since the task force’s mandate was only extended on Wednesday, we have to get the team to sit down on Monday and meet the facilitators.”

Mr Kimani told the Sunday Nation that the reason they are going back to the people is that “Kenyans have a bit more to say”.   

“I’m sure different views will emerge, but the point here – and I have seen people asking why go back to the people – is, if you really want something to be people-owned, then you have to give people time. There are people who have not had a chance to get the report because we did not mass-produce it, so we are giving them a chance to own it.”

DRAFT LEGISLATIONS

Besides collecting more views, the team will also be charged with reducing the proposals contained in their report into draft legislations for possible introduction in Parliament, or questions for a referendum.

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