Home ECONOMY Uhuru, Raila Stance on BBI More of a Burning Bridges Initiative

Uhuru, Raila Stance on BBI More of a Burning Bridges Initiative

by biasharadigest

After
launching the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) soon after the handshake
between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, Kenya has not experienced vitriol at
this level since the 2007 election violence.

Lest
we forget, Kenya was on the brink following the 2007 election which led to the
deaths of tens of thousands, displacement of hundreds of thousands and the
crippling of the economy which brought the country to its knees following the
chaos after the election.

Financed and fanned by bigoted politicians, the 2007 post-election violence remains a dark blot on the country’s leadership at the time which included Raila, retired President Mwai and Kibaki and DP William Ruto. At the time, Uhuru was behind Kibaki in a hotly contested election where it was a do or die for most of the politicians.

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With the chaos, the international community led by US Secretary of State at the time, Condoleeza Rice, brokered a peace deal which saw the antagonists accept to share the plum positions- as has always been the case- in government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The two most critical question many Kenyans have been asking is, what President Kenyatta shall pass on to the next generation and also what Kenyans shall remember him for when he exits the corridors of power in 2022. www.businesstoday.co.ke
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. For the two, it seems that theirs is a do or die exercise whose expected results must be achieved at all costs. [Photo/Business Today/File]

Thereafter,
no punishment was meted on those who orchestrated and financed the chaos. In addition,
no reparations were made for the most affected who lost their loved ones,
livelihoods, homes and much more.

And
now, Kenyan politicians are at it again while ordinary Kenyans who should be
pushing for better living conditions, employment creation and prudent spending
of public resources are cheering the warmongers on. It is a time bomb.

Johann
Kriegler, the South African Judge who chaired the Independent Review Commission
(IREC) to investigate what led to the 2007 chaos, said that if the issues that
led to the PEV were not addressed before the next election, 2007 would be a
honeymoon in comparison to what would happen during the next election.

While his words have not come to pass, yet, Kenya has gone back to the same path that it was on prior to the explosive 2007 election and the consequent violence. The key players, interestingly, are the same. It is a case of the same monkeys and different forests. In Kenya’s case, though, neither needs to change. The monkeys and the forests remain the same and they are comfortable that way.

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Going
by what is happening during the BBI meetings, it is evident that Uhuru’s legacy
will be a fractured country, one that is worse off than he found it
economically and politically.

While
his predecessor was not a politician, he got the economy up and at least there
as hope that Kenyans’ eyes were opening up to the reality that there is more
than politics.

Voice of Reason

For Uhuru and Raila, it seems that theirs is a do or die exercise whose expected results must be achieved at all costs. This is at the expense of Kenyans who are having to endure hard times on all fronts including a fledgeling calm between communities. But now, ethnic tensions are being stoked left right and centre by those who feel that Kenya should be a certain way. Tribe first.

But
not all are lost to the reality of what this discourse portends for Kenya.

Nakuru
Governor Lee Kinyanjui has broken ranks, albeit on his online platforms, with
the rest of those pushing the BBI agenda.

He
says, “The ongoing BBI debate and the emerging issues of
property and land rights must serve to remind us that our only saviour is the
enactment of a strong constitutional foundation that cannot be manipulated by
politicians.”

He adds that Kenya needs a constitutional order that
respects the rights of citizens and protects their property against illegal
intrusion irrespective of where they come from.

“That is what will keep us as a progressive nation
where the right to own property is respected and recognized by law. For this
reason, we must all take a very keen interest on the BBI and ensure that warmongers
and any other issue that stands to divide us do not carry the day.”

He asks that the voice of the silent majority and all
well-meaning Kenyans must not allow the debate to be hijacked by self-seekers.

Following the BBI meeting in Narok where politicians
were calling for a reset and going back to ‘localisation’, Kinyanjui issued a statement
condemning the utterances by those who were attending.

Despite driving a wedge between the various Kenyan communities, Raila who was attending the rally did not correct or dismiss the utterances. He seemingly is at home with such kind of hateful politics. And so is his brother Uhuru who has not dissuaded the negative discourse. It seems that Kenyans are on their own except when the politicians need them for votes.

Image
Raila at the BBI conference in Narok County ahead of Saturday’s regional meeting. [Photo/Raila Odinga]

Kinyanjui’s statement read, “Utterances attributed to a section of leaders during the Narok BBI meeting in relation to non-indigenous landowners and reclaiming land across three counties is retrogressive and ill-informed. The right to ownership of property is guaranteed by the Constitution and not a gift from politicians. The days of ethnic mobilization through incitement are long gone.”

He said that the sentiments were most unfortunate coming at a time when the nation is seeking to heal the wounds of intolerance and political incitement.

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“We
are also concerned about leaders who are seeking to hijack the BBI to pursue
selfish political agenda that may cause ethnic disharmony. This has led to
deliberate distortions to the BBI concept of national inclusion and harmony.”

As
a politician, he seems to be a voice of reason in a sea of loudmouths who seem
to care for nothing but their own selfish ambitions.

For
Kenyans, it shows that the country is still a long way from what could be said of
a mature democracy where values drive communities together for a certain goal.

As
we trot towards 2022, Kenya’s perpetual politicking means that realising any meaningful
development is impossible.

Unless
the country resets, we’re in for a long and bumpy ride. I hope that this is not
the time that Kriegler’s words will come true.

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