WE MUST RESPECT THE VIEWS OF THOSE WHO ACTUALLY SPOKE TO BBI WHEN WINDOW WAS OPEN
Insisting that unless you are heard and the window for BBI views is opened for you, you will not support BBI, despite time running out; is to disrespect those Kenyans who actually gave their views when the window was open.
If the process wasn’t important enough for you to find time to participate in it then, let it go and let those who participated take it forward. Unless you think you are a more important Kenyan than those who went out of their way to give their views when they did.
1. Inclusivity – BBI will force all future Presidential candidates to craft an inclusive coalition BEFORE elections rather than after. This means we don’t have to wait until violence erupts to figure out how to make sure all Kenyans see themselves in each government (not about candidates). This inclusivity will also ensure our country’s economy doesn’t ‘tank’ every 5 years.
2. Vote Equity – Multiple Member constituencies means that where we have many people in one constituency, they get more than one MP representing them and negotiating for their interests in Parliament. One-man-one-vote-one-shilling at work.
3. Pesa Mashinani – increasing county funds from 15% to 35% means that we increase the capacity of a county government to invest in agriculture, and in healthcare service delivery. This will change our local communities – dramatically.
If you can’t give us better options to deliver the above outcomes, join us and let’s pass BBI asubuhi na mapema.
NO AMENDMENTS TO BBI
3 MAIN REASONS TO SUPPORT BBI
1/ POLITICAL INCLUSION
Kenya’s politics is based on tribal mobilization. In 1992, 1997, 2007, and 2017 this tribal mobilization led to electoral related violence. This has been due to the vicious fights between various competing political sides, the perception that each side represents the aspirations of particular communities, and the belief that when a particular side loses the communities it represented have and will be disenfranchised from government. In 2017 the country was almost torn apart. Some parts of Kenya were on the verge of secession as they felt that a government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta would not represent the aspirations of those who had voted for Former Premier Raila Odinga. The handshake between President Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Odinga created the perception that Uhuru’s government would incorporate the aspirations of Raila’s followers. However the handshake was a temporary ceasefire and not a sustainable solution. We need a permanent solution to cyclical violence. BBI proposes to expand the national leadership from President and Deputy President, to President, Deputy President, Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers. The end-product of this is to force Presidential candidates to form wide coalitions drawn from different parts of the country, and then subsequently involve more people in government when they win. It also provides a situation where the coalition that loses also gets into government as Official Opposition with the support and capacity to participate in checking government and challenging it to perform. This will bring about inclusion.
2/ SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Kenya’s economy loses heavily every election year because of; (a) because investors give the country a wide berth, afraid of chaos and disruption, and (b) because corruption flourishes during election years as politicians look for campaign money. Over the last 15 years, Kenya has lost 7 years of economic growth. The reason for this is the electoral violence explained above, which causes a breakdown in public order, and loss of life and property. This leads to an unpredictable business environment that adversely affects the economy at micro and macro level. BBI solves the problem of election-related political unrest and violence, which means that politics will no longer disrupt economic development. The predictability of the economic environment also means that investors will be more comfortable investing long-term, which means more jobs in various high-investment sectors like manufacturing. This is good for Kenyan as we cannot progress with short-term 4-year investment programs and need long-term projects like are happening with our neighbours who handle political unrest through dictatorships.
3/ SOCIAL COHESION & INTEGRATION
We take it for granted that we will always be one nation. However Kenya comprises many communities that came together under one identity because of forced circumstances (colonialism). We must therefore put in deliberate effort individually and as a nation to ensure our country will always stand together. Our political instability and the economic uncertainty it causes are an existential threat to the ability of Kenya to continue as one nation. BBI provides for political stability through inclusion, and for development certainty through economic predictability. This means we can focus on nationhood building, in addition to nation building. BBI even proposes solutions for national ethos, fight against corruption which saps at our confidence in our nation, and social cohesion through shared prosperity at national and local (devolved) level. BBI proposes to build a Kenya that includes all of us.
MY CHALLENGE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT SUPPORT BBI
1/ WHATS YOUR ALTERNATIVE?
Those who disagree with BBI should propose their own solutions to the national problems that BBI seeks to solve, or stand aside & allow those with solutions to effect them.
2/ WHY NOT CREATE YOUR OWN ‘TANGATANGA’ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS OUTSIDE BBI?
It is a fact that not everything has been captured within BBI. However it is also a fact that BBI is not the only constitutional proposal one can introduce. Anyone who thinks some critical proposals have been excluded under BBI has the option of coming up with their own proposed constitutional amendment(s) that deals with those additional and particular issues, while they allow this one under BBI to go forward to its logical conclusion. The BBI constitutional amendments were proposed by Uhuru Kenyatta. The law also allows William Ruto & Co to develop their own proposed amendments, and present them to Kenyans. They tried with ‘Punguza Mzigo’. They can try again.Meanwhile the rest of us can debate on whether we want BBI or not, as it’s what’s on the table.
3/ We must stop taking views at some point and move forward. We had two years for views and it’s taking those who gave their views then for granted, to assume that those views aren’t enough without those of a certain ‘big man’. Let’s proceed. If Kenyans say ‘NO’, that’s okay. We tried. We will try again. Because we must take money to the grassroots, create a governance structure that enables political stability, and equalise the vote as much as possible. We must.