Inside smoky BBI Secretariat

By James Macharia

When the state gave more attention to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) than fighting to combat Covid-19, it was said to have lost focus of an antelope just because of a dashing squirrel.

When President Kenyatta did a handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a task force was formed to amalgamate the challenges Kenyans are facing and later compile a report that would be deliberated by county assemblies, Senate and the National assembly.

After having been massively passed by county assemblies, the report was to be tabled before National assembly on Tuessday, March 23 2021. But that was not to happen. Ironically, BBI Secretariat co-chairman and also Kangema legislator Muturi Kigano came with a different report.

Instead of tabling the report, he pleaded with the house speaker Justin Muturi for an extension of time so that they can expand consultations to other committee experts.

In the seating which was seen to be futile by many Kenyans, article 257 became the center of MP’s intriguing interest.

Turbulent took charge of the atmosphere and Kigano’s plea put him at loggerheads with his counterparts. John Mbadi, the National assembly minority whip said that article 257 of the constitution prevents anyone with the intention of derailing a report of such kind from doing so.

“The issues we’re discussing here are so pertinent even to some of us here, and therefore, this house cannot be just like a conveyor belt of letting matters pass through anyhow”, said Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa.

Aden Duale, Garissa Township MP, in response to Kigano, said that extra time will only be awarded on one condition. Aftre explaining to the house what the time is for.

Junet Mohammed, National assembly chief majority whip also grew furious to the word of Muturi Kigano. Also, Olago Aluoch, legislator for Kisumu Town west reproached the Kangema MP, saying that it was really a big shame.

The Secretariat purports to be needing time to include some other serious and sensitive matters inside the amendment bill before tabling it before the both houses.

Far from the evening drama, in a letter by Senator Irungu Kang’ata, also former Senate majority whip, the senator put down something that sparked a public debate.

Though the letter dated back on December 30,2020, it Leaked to media on January 3,2021.

Generally, Kang’ata was informing the president on the unpopularity of the document in Mt. Kenya and its chances of getting a nod in the region was resting on a thin thread.

“Based on a survey I conducted during the December 2020 holidays, I have to the conclusion, BBI is unpopular in Mt. Kenya….out of every 10 persons I surveyed, six opposed it, two support it and two others are indifferent,” the letter stated in part.

It’s a letter that found the senator at crossroads with his fellow leaders and later smoked out as the Senate majority whip for alleged disloyalty to party and its chief leader Uhuru Kenyatta. Also in the letter, Kang’ata cited unaddressed issues in the BBI that contributed to his conclusion that the report was unacceptable in the region. Many won’t listen to him.

But courtesy of the same reason, the secretariat failed to table the report on Tuesday contrary to protocols.

Conversely, the National assembly Speaker Justin Muturi granted the committee an extra 10-day period and to be tabled on April 1,2021.

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