BBI Offered a Robust Roadmap to National Unity and Peaceful Coexistence

Some politicians will not stop on their tracks towards self-aggrandizement especially with the impending general elections of 2022. Portentous celebration by some politicians that have openly campaigned against the BBI following the recent Appellate Court ruling on Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) should be bothersome to sane thinking Kenyans. On Friday last week, the seven judge bench at the Appeals Court upheld High ruling which did not favor the BBI. Issues of the Court ruling notwithstanding, there are salient issues raised in the BBI which should not be lost in the ruckus of post appellate Court ruling.

Kenyans should remember the aftermath of both 2013 and 2017 general elections, the country was degenerated into foul mood which is characteristic of other electoral cycles since 1969. In fact in 2017, the Supreme Court cancelled the presidential elections citing irregularities which would not qualify the elections as free and fair after the opposition filed a court case citing irregularities. In 2007, Kenya experienced post elections violence which saw serious human rights violations, destruction of individual properties, killings, forced displacements among other ills. These cycles of elections fiasco are in some way linked to quest for state power and its attendant real or perceived benefits.

Furthermore, devolution and the issue of accountability at the devolved levels of governance has remained at the core of public debate about good governance since 2013. Among some of the reasons Kenyans endorsed the new Constitutional dispensation in 2010 was to initiate, stimulate and/or sustain socio-economic growth at the grassroots across the country. A scan around the country today shows great strides which the country has been making following the promulgation of the new constitution 2010 to the advantage of Kenyan communities across all the 47 counties. However, these developments have not occurred without some teething problems among them the endemic culture of graft. By June 2020, up to 30 governors include former and current county governors were being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for corruption related charges while another six had been impeached by county assemblies around the same period for similar charges since 2013. Moreover, Kenyans for a longtime have been treated to screaming news headlines about the devolved units and the national government losing billions of development money to theft.

In his desire to help the country steer out of the murky waters of negative ethnicity, electoral related chaos and other socio-economic ills, President Uhuru Kenyatta has been in the forefront in championing the war against graft and implementing a raft of socio-economic development programmes including the Big Four development agenda. As a matter of, all the impeached governors were successfully removed from office following solid evidences against them linking their respective administrations to graft. Many other persons have been charged with graft including government Cabinet Secretaries (CSs), Public Secretaries (PSs), parastatal chiefs and other senior government officials some of whom have been convicted while others are facing court cases. Some of these milestones in the fight against corruption are directly attributed to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s resolute leadership in creating an enabling environment for law enforcement agencies to carry out investigations and prosecuting graft cases. Therefore one of the premises on which BBI was based was the fight against graft. Corruption touches every aspect of the Kenyan society and has robbed the country many decades of development. To cheer the court ruling against BBI is akin to supporting the cancer of corruption which has bedeviled Kenya for the longest time. Some of these pertinent questions around the BBI must inform the public thinking despite the court ruling and Kenyans must aspire for a country which prides itself in its diverse ethnicities. Kenyans must be wary of parochial politics which has been witnessed around the BBI but take a long hard look into the future against the background of perpetual socio-economic challenges that BBI is seeking to chart ways out of.

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