Building bridges task force begins its sittings


Building bridges task force

In Summary

  • KEPSA also proposed that the country adopts a win-win political system, terming the current winner takes it all model a catalyst for contested elections.
  • The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya recommended a mixed member proportional representation to enhance inclusivity.
  • SUPKEM has backed a departure from the current presidential system of government to a more inclusive model of governance.

The team of experts established by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga has began collecting views from citizens and organizations on how to reconcile the nation and resolve long standing thorny issues.

The building bridges initiative is fighting off allegations of having a pre-determined outcome and being used as a conduit for far reaching amendments to the constitution.

This includes a shift from the Presidential system of government to the Parliamentary model and expansion of the executive through creation of a Prime Minister’s slot.

The committee chaired by Garissa Senator Yussuf Haji staged it’s first forum.

Members of the public submitted their views and recommendations on the 9-point agenda that anchors the March 9th handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The initiative’s mandate is advise Kenyatta and Odinga on how to deal with ethnic antagonism and competition as well as the lack of national ethos and inclusivity in national leadership.

Further, they will advise them on sharing of the national cake, devolution, divisive elections, safety and security, corruption, shared prosperity as well as rights and responsibilities.

The 14-member team is however already facing accusations of having a pre-determined outcome, to justify the clamour for a referendum to amend the constitution ahead of the 2022 general election.

The Kenya Private Sector (KEPSA) through one of its trustees Lee Karuri recommended that the government focuses on ethnic integration programs and prioritize issues that unite the country, while at the same time ensuring uniform resource allocation in the country.

KEPSA also proposed that the country adopts a win-win political system, terming the current winner takes it all model a catalyst for contested elections.

The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya recommended a mixed member proportional representation to enhance inclusivity and raising of qualifications for members of the county assemblies to enable them play their oversight role effectively.

The religious leaders however do not support an expanded executive, claiming many centers of power would breed confusion in the country’s management.

The Supreme Council of Muslims in Kenya (SUPKEM) has backed a departure from the current presidential system of government to a more inclusive model of governance.

They also want chapter 6 of the Constitution of leadership and integrity beefed up to bolster the war against corruption.

The building bridges initiative has been allocated Ksh.100 million to collect view from Kenyans and submit its recommendations to Kenyatta and Odinga by mid next year.

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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