Building Bridges to Where?


My Sunday Thought hinges on analysis by Professor Kithure Kindiki who holds a view I share that the Building Bridges Initiative is at crossroads without a clear indication which way leads to its destination called win-win electoral democracy.

Prof. Kindiki Kithure observes.

I have finished a second reading of the BBI report.

1. Is 90% about us politicians and only 10% about the people that we lead.

2. Is hell-bent on leading a broke Country into an expensive referendum, while almost all of the proposed reforms can be achieved through a faithful implementation of the Constitution as it is, Constitutional amendments that do not require a referendum & initiating new policy documents.

Youthful Kikuyu clergy oppose BBI

3. Does not provide any practical solutions to crippling public debt (current ceiling of Ksh 9 Trillion will be hit in the next two years according to National Treasury, yet President Kibaki’s administration left a debt of only Ksh 800B, and a ceiling of Ksh 1 Trillion).

4. Enlarges the size of both the National Assembly & the Senate, and creates at least three new Commissions (on health, youth and police respectively). The wage Bill is at Ksh 800B which is 50% of the Ksh 1.6 Trillion the KRA hopes to collect. We must downsize the wage Bill to below KShs 500 B no matter the cost.

5. Has failed to provide bold, concrete & practical suggestions on how we can stop losing Ksh 600B every year (per EACC) to theives perched high in National & County Governments, their families & cronies.

6. Conveniently fails to provide remedies out of the near bankruptcy that we are in. The Country’s economy has collapsed & the Nation technically insolvent. With an annual budget of Ksh 3 Trillion currently, Ksh 900B is for debt redemption, KShs 800B is for public sector wages & allowances, KShs 350B is for other forms of recurrent expenditure , while Kshs 600B is lost through corruption (per EACC)…yet KRA collection is stuck at Kshs 1.6 Trillion at best.

7. Kills the Senate completely. The only innovation to strengthen this House of Devolution is to transfer Women Reps to the Senate. There is a complete failure to appreciate that Senate’s/ upper Chambers in all jurisdictions exist principally to protect the federal units/ periphery/ regions/States/Devolved Units against the excesses of the Center..That is why Senate works on the principle of one County, one Vote; on equality of Counties thereby cushioning marginalized communities & ethnic minorities. With the death of the Senate ( the second death the first one having occured in1966), Devolution will be left at the whimsical manipulation of the National Government administration of the day & a National Assembly which operates on the majoritarianism principle.

8. Forces Governor candidates to have a running mate of opposite gender (which is un-democratic) but curiously does not impose the same requirements to Presidential candidates. Shows the thinking that Counties is where you dump unpleasant experiments, by interfering with composition & roles of Senate and forcing Governors to respect Women while exempting the National Executive from the rule.

9. Simplistically assumes that if you reward the top 5 most populous ethnic communities (going by our voting propensities), the 39 communities constituting Kenya’s ethnic minorities are inconsequential & the country will be politically inclusive, stable and prosperous.

10..Assumes if you give a political seat to an ethnic chief, that community social, economic & political grievances have been addressed.

11. Proposes no viable mechanisms of healing the wounds inflicted through a century trauma, corruption, gross & systematic violation of human rights, land grabbing, class inequalities, deliberate marginalisation of certain parts of Kenya & skewed sharing of national resources, development projects, public appointments & the like.

12. Is an eclectic mix of pain-killer solutions to serious, deep-seated problems that require a complete surgery to lift millions of our people from abject poverty & for the inclusion & bettering off the lives of subsistence farmers, cobblers, shoe shersiners, cooks, house helps, micro enterprise traders, lower cadres in the disciplined forces & civil service, Watchmen, fisher folk, peasants & all the other suffering lot in our midst.For the aforementioned reasons, unless I am eventually pursuaded otherwise by alternative, well argued & reasoned explanation before the vote on the BBI proposals, I OPPOSE.

Last word:

There is no doubt that Kenyan’s biggest concern is CORRUPTION not State House and Gubernatorial offices.

Yes, post election violence occurs every election cycle and Kenyans die but it subsides until the next election but CORRUPTION in Kenya is a 24/7 January to December preoccupation and continues killing Kenyans in hospitals, roads and hunger with or without elections.

Corruption spells doom to the Kenyan nation and it MUST be addressed as a priority not creating new offices to spread it wider. Politicians in Kenya have become too greedy and selfish and it’s high time to tame their insatiable desire for more and power while bleeding the national coffers like leaches by failing to curb corruption.