Kenya ‘has’ two Presidents. The constitutional President Uhuru Kenyatta and ‘Peoples’ President’ Raila Odinga. The duo no doubt are very busy people.
But Kenyans are wondering if they are too preoccupied-albeit with equally important issues- that they cannot squeeze in some time to receive the report of the Building Bridges Initiative.
A fortnight has passed since the BBI Task Force joint secretaries Martin Kimani and Paul Mwangi announced that the report was ready and all they were waiting for was an opportune time to deliver it.
Before they finished, they felt constrained to release the statement in the wake of growing apprehension over the long delay on a report that had supposedly been ready for over a month save for some final editing touches.
At that time, President Kenyatta was in Russia, and that was used as a convenient excuse. Observers have now concluded that his frequent foreign travels are designed to avoid the report.
Pundits argue that if BBI was as important as advertised for the building of national cohesion and guaranteeing sustainable peace, security and nationhood, Uhuru and Raila would have made it a number one priority to receive the report and immediately embark on its implementation.
That they have not been available has only served to fuel growing suspicion that one, or both, of them are not happy with its recommendations.
Although the President and the erstwhile opposition leader-turned-key ally have both always been publicly fulsome in support of their baby and diagnosis of Kenya’s problems, a close analysis reveals that they may not necessarily be on the same page regarding prescriptions.
Raila, for instance, has been outspoken in support of major realignment of the national leadership structure to reintroduce the position of Prime Minister as Head of Government.
He has also been insistent that Kenya must have a referendum to pass the envisaged constitutional changes — an interesting position ahead of the release of the BBI report.
Uhuru by contrast, has backed the BBI, but without going into positions and demands that might pre-empt receipt of the report. He has never talked of going back to a parliamentary system of government or uttered support for a referendum.
It is also instructive that while ODM, made detailed proposals to the BBI hearings, President Kenyatta’s Jubilee did not make an appearance.
Granted, the governing party is deeply divided over the BBI with Deputy President William Ruto leading a powerful faction determined to shoot down the President’s pet project.
It is still apparent that Uhuru has not even made much effort to rally his party behind the initiative
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