The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appointments were made to appease political cronies of some individuals and were centred on tribal politics, a new report by the Uwazi Consortium has revealed.
The report lays bare possible illegalities in the BBI, which was formed last year following the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. The handshake was meant to calm political turmoil in the country after a disputed presidential election in 2017.
“Due to the opportunistic nature of politics, politicians find it cheaper to mobilize their support bases around ethnicity rather than around social and economic issues that cut across. Out of the 14 members and the 2 co-chairpersons of the BBI team, 9 have known political affiliations which may be attributed to their selection.,” notes the report.
Paul Mwangi is Raila’s former legal aide and was appointed in the past to advise NASA on the legal framework for elections. Ambassador Martin Kimani is the President’s special envoy for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and Director of Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Adams Oloo is a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi and has been seen on many occasions in the past working for NASA. Agnes Kavindu contested and lost the Machakos women representative seat as a candidate for the Jubilee Party during the 2017 general elections.
Florence Omose was a member of the ODM Party’s appeals tribunal, which was handling cases lodged by dissatisfied aspirants during the party nominations in preparation for the 2017 general elections.
Amos Wako is the sitting senator for Busia County sponsored by the ODM Party, Yusuf Haji is the
sitting senator for Garissa County sponsored by Jubilee Party, Maison Leshomo is the sitting women representative for Samburu County sponsored by KANU and Rose Museo is the sitting women representative for Makueni County sponsored by the Wiper Democratic Movement party.
The remaining seven members, according to the report, appear to be representing the interests of certain regions or communities.
Major (Rtd) John Seii was the first elected chairman of the Kalenjin Council of Elders in 2009 and is the coordinator of the Myoot Council of Elders and the chairman of the Uasin Gishu Peace Forum.
Prof Morompi Ole Ronkei is a trustee of the Maa Trust and is a well respected Maasai elder. James Matundura is the chairman of the Gusii Council of Elders.
Saeed Mwaguni is an Associate Professor in Environmental Science at the Technical University of Mombasa, Archbishop Zecheus Okoth is a former leader of the Kisumu Diocese of the Roman Catholic church, Bishop Lawi Imathiu is a retired Archbishop of the Methodist church and Bishop Peter Njenga is a retired Bishop, formerly of the Diocese of Mt Kenya South of the Anglican church.
“It appears that the Kalenjin, Maasai, Gusii, Luo, Mount Kenya and Coastal communities have representation. Florence Omose, Amos Wako, Rose Moseu, Agnes Kavindu, Yusuf Haji and
Maison Leshomo appear to also represent the interests of the Luhya, Kamba and marginalized communities,” notes the report, to some extend supporting the representation.
The report notes that special groups like the youth and persons with disabilities were left out.