Opinion- The BBI Reggae Should Stay Dead

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga display copies of the BBI report at the State Lodge in Kisii on October 21, 2020.

The Building Bridges (BBI) Report of Nov 27,2019 had recommendations that would go along way to help Kenyans mend post election problems.

However, they were just recommendations and nothing more than that.
Then there came an actual BBI bill that should be the actualisation of the 2019 report. From my understanding, the most contested part of the report are the purported 35% revenue alocation to the counties, the ward fund, women heading to the Senate, women deputy governors, youth tax relief on new companies, youth grace period from paying the Helb loan, the expansion of the executive, increase in members of the house, the office of ombudsman, the politicisation of the IEBC…. etc.

Disecting the BBI Report

The truth is, all these are just hoodwinking the general populace from the biting issues at hand. We thought the BBI was going to pave way for a smooth transition of power and curb the post election innuendos Kenyans have to go through after every election. The BBI report does not address this. Instead, it creates a post for the official Opposition leader who is a nominated member of the house. No one goes into an election to be nominated but again, that is presuming that we only have two candidates…. There is nothing in the BBI stopping the other presidential candidates from causing havoc after election. In fact, there is nothing at all in that report that touches on the major reason why there always has to be chaos after election, and that is, rigging.Massive rigging in elections and the unfairness of the whole process is what brings about the protests and everything, but has the BBI addressed it??????

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The Executive

Expanding the executive is in fact a hoax as there is nothing new but just a few changes in the naming of the positions. The majority leader renamed to Prime Minister. The whip automatically becomes one of the deputy prime and that’s that… Basically, we seek to have a political cabinet, working to progress their political interests and nothing more. An ombudsman appointee will never go against the wishes of their appointing authority… Thus the BBI is nothing but a shallow document covered with a layer of goodies with lethal poison in the inside.

Youth go about being cheated that a 7yr tax holiday is anything good. Well, it is Something good, if it were to have any impact. We live in a country where tenders meant for the youth are snabbed by old politicians who have registered companies in the names of youths, either family members or just unknowing youths. Point out any government tender that has been awarded to any youth in this country and there is no backing from a political force. Registering a company is approximately kes 25k, and after injecting that capital, you will spend the rest of your life trying to break through in the business world. What the youth need is not a tax holiday but to be empowered. Let the youth get the know-how of starting and running businesses and the capital necessary. Let them run their businesses and pay taxes just like they will do after that 7yrs. There is no rich man who made it to the millionaires’ club by forgoing taxes.

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Women representation is a very key point in any democracy. Women need to be given an equal opportunity in everything and that does not include giving them unfair advantage. The women reps are just toothless senators in parliament. What we need is to make these women bite and not to dump them somewhere where all they do is make noise and be cute. Women need to decide what happens in this country and not to be taken as tools of purported representation. Women vying for governor’s seats should be encouraged and not to impose them as deputy governors without portfolio. We have female governors and they are not in anyway a disappointment so the BBI should look at women as a phoenix of greatness and not as a charity case.

Allocating 35% of the revenue to the counties is a smart move. But what do we have to show for the 15% allocation that’s been in existence. Health workers are on the streets, teachers dying in poverty, county employees riddled with nepotism and county finances financing the lifestyles of governors. How many governor’s have faced charges of graft and mismanagement of County funds?? And that is just 15%, what will they do with 35? What we need is a system making counties accountable for each and every cent they receive and then ask for 40-60% allocation, something that doesn’t need a referendum to achieve. Ward funds are a good thing, relatively. They are only good because they have not been disbursed in the pockets of the MCAs.
I would go on and on but the truth still remains, the BBI does not address the questions we want addressed. It only addresses the questions a few people have with the assumption that the post election machinations are a result of a ripple effect. But how true is that????

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Written By: Kenyan Whistler https://www.facebook.com/KenyanWhistler/

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