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BBI report won’t be released to public this week, says official

By Noah Cheploen
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
Major (Rtd) John Seii during a recent press briefing in Eldoret town. PD/JIMMY GITAKA

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report might not be released to the public this week as expected because the 14-members task force is still fine tuning it to ensure it bears the wishes of majority of Kenyans.

In an interview with People Daily yesterday, Major (Rtd) John Seii, who is a member of the task force, said the report—which is expected to shake up the political landscape—is still “work in progress” and called for patience.

“Definitely, it is not happening this week but before the end of the month. What I can only say is that the writing of the report is going on smoothly,” said Major (Rtd) Seii, who is also the former chairman of Myoot (Kalenjin) Council of Elders. 

Waiting presentation

This appears to contradict what Paul Mwangi, the joint secretary has been saying they were through with the report and were only waiting to present it to the President.

Mwangi told the People Daily on Saturday that their team had finalised the document, and were only waiting to be given an appointment by the President to hand it over.

“We are ready with the report and the handing over will take place on a day which will be decided by the president’s protocol,” he said on Saturday.

Seii also denied reports that the BBI team had gone for a retreat to fine tune the report, as he disclosed that he was in Eldoret “with his family.”

Although Seii said they are bound from discussing the matter in public by the oath they took upon taking office last year, he assured Kenyans that the final product will be good. He said the report will help end the five-year circle of electoral violence. 

Asked whether the BBI report is likely to change presidential term limits or merge some electoral areas, Seii answered in the negative. “Kenyans told us not to touch their constituencies and we respected that…” he said. 

“Some of the things people are discussing in public like increasing of revenue allocation to the counties are true while others are not true,” he said, adding that this is one of the key issues that emerged when they moved across the country collecting views from Kenyans last year.

“We only addressed the contentious issues so things like presidential terms didn’t come out but I like the debate that is going on in public because it shows that Kenyans are really interested and eagerly waiting for the report…” he said. 

Historic Handshake

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his once political foe, Raila Odinga formed the BBI team after the historic Handshake at Harambee House on March 9, 2018 where they signed a political deal bringing to an end weeks of acrimony.

 The two leaders had had a closed-door meeting that caught many of their supporters by surprise. The BBI team which is chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji comprises of politicians, elders and the clergy.

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