President Uhuru Kenyatta has extended term of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Taskforce.
This is following a meeting with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga that took place on Wednesday evening at State House, Nairobi.
In a statement, Kanze Dena, the State House Spokesperson, stated that team will now steer the next phase of the process which will largely involve expanding, guiding public participation and structuring recommendations by Kenyans into implementable action plans.
“The President and the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga thanked the team for putting together a report that captures the aspirations of Kenyans and requested the Taskforce to continue leading the BBI process, ” the statement read.
The task force was established following President Kenyatta’s March 9, 2018, handshake with the ODM leader to operationalize their reconciliation across the country.
The task force, co-chaired by senators Yusuf Haji (Garissa) and Amos Wako (Busia), last month submitted a report to the two leaders.
In May last year, the team was gazetted and given a year to submit a comprehensive report.
The report, that has largely received support from the political class recommends, among other things, the creation of the Prime Minister position and the runner-up in a Presidential election becomes the leader of opposition in parliament.
The team chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, in their proposals, retained the President as the Head of State.
The BBI proposed that the Prime Minister may be dismissed by the President or through a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly.
The big question the team will now face is on how to implement the report with a section of lawmakers rooting for a parliamentary system while another calling for a referendum.
Recently National Assembly Speaker Justine Muturi stated that the report can’t be allowed in parliament in its current form.
In comments that elicited a heated political debate, Muturi said the report must be converted into a Bill or a policy before it can get its way into parliament.
“We did not originate the BBI. It is owned by the Executive. As it is, it does have the legs to walk to Parliament. It has to be distilled into a Bill, ” Muturi said.
“The BBI is still a report…As it is now, the proposals in the report have not been reduced into any legislation. If a time comes and there is need, the processes are there.”
He made the clarification at parliament buildings after he was quoted alluding that the document will be subjected to a referendum.
BBI joint secretaries are Amb. Martin Kimani and Paul Mwangi.
It comprises of Adams Oloo , Agnes Kavindu, Florence Omose, Saeed Mwanguni, James Matundura, Major John Seii, Bishop Lawi Imathiu and Maison Leshomo.
Other members include Morompi ole Ronkai , Bishop Peter Njenga, Rose Moseu and Archbishop Zecheus Okot.