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Intrigues before BBI report launch as team balanced interests

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Barely a week after the release of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, details of the intrigues that led to the compilation and presentation of the report continue to emerge.

The Sunday Standard has learnt that even as the BBI team presented a united front to the republic it had, in the course of its life cycle, gone through a roller coaster of emotions with members advocating different ways of actualising the report.A key divisive issue, which taskforce members say was eventually settled, was the now thorny issue of a referendum.

Just as it has divided the political class, the referendum option also split the taskforce right in the middle, with some members thinking it would be the best, next logical step for the BBI report while others argued that the responsibility of such a decision did not sit on their shoulders.Multiple sources we spoke to also hinted that the report was changed several times for the ‘greater good of the nation.’

BBI insiders say some original proposals were thought to be too divisive, and thus were left out entirely. One such key recommendation was creation of the position of an Executive Prime Minister.

Less polarising

But after much horse-trading and consultations, the team settled on a non-executive Prime Minister, a proposal seen as less polarising.

“Ours was to make recommendations in the first stage and it is for Kenyans to discuss and agree on what should remain or removed from the report. Once crystalised, it is at that second stage that the mode of implementation is to be decided,” said Busia Senator Amos Wako, a member of the BBI taskforce.

During the debate, the taskforce agreed that Kenyans will decide on whether recommendations will be implemented in an administrative manner, legislative or referendum.

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“Everyone had his own idea but we had to approach the issues in a positive way by being conscious to the fact that we had to succeed in preparing a report that would unite the country. It is also premature for people to debate about the mode of implementation at this stage when they are supposed to read the report and decide on the issues,” he added.

The team agreed on this even as the political hype on referendum reached crescendo with politicians raising the issue in rallies as they prepared their supporters on the BBI report outcome.Apart from the thorny referendum issue, it has also emerged that the report that was eventually presented to the public was a watered down version of the originally submitted report.

An MP close to the proceedings of the BBI team during and after their term said there had been fear among senior state officials that the original report which had proposed a radical change in the structure of government would have caused furore and they decided to make changes.

Publicly opposed

“There was a feeling that some politicians had prepared enough ground to reject the report and to deflect their pursuit it became necessary that the report looks more amenable,” said the MP who sought anonymity.

The report proposes the position of Prime Minister who would be appointed by the president from a party with majority in Parliament or one that is popular with the MPs.

But according to sources, the original document that was completed by the BBI team on October 23 had proposed an Executive Premier complete with two Deputy Prime Ministers.It is this proposal that caused concerns and the President reportedly asked the team to revisit the document and amend the recommendation.

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However, members of the task force have gone on record, terming these assertions as baseless. “We have had the report and did not share it, those allegations are rumours,” BBI joint Secretary Paul Mwangi said.

Bishop Lawi Imathiu, a member of the team, said the report they wrote is what they presented to the President and the spirit of those in the committee was that of ‘one Kenya one people.’

“I did not notice changes, though there were people who were interested to suggest changes but the committee was patriotic and stood for what was best for Kenya,” said Imathiu.

The creation of a powerful PM and the two deputies had been publicly opposed, including by Deputy President William Ruto and his allies, who argued that the BBI should not be used to create positions for the political class at the expense of the tax-burdened Kenyans.

The writing was thus on the wall that if the recommendation was contained in the document, it was a sure way of having it rejected, a consequence that the President and the ODM leader were not ready to carry.

“The proposal for a powerful Prime Minister had already leaked, and this was done deliberately to test the waters. They realised that this was a very unpopular proposal among Kenyans and could easily be used as a strong ground to have the report rejected,” said a source.“It would have been an exciting topic for the opponents of BBI, as they would have used it to whip the emotions of Kenyans to reject any proposal that would create extra positions,” revealed the source.

But while speaking at the Emoo Radio Station morning show one of the team members Maj (Rtd) John Seii admitted that there were some areas which were not in their initial report but had been altered.“In the part of the whistle-blowers, we were not specific on the percentage, but ‘they’ put it at 5 per cent,’ Major (Rtd) Seii said. In making recommendations in the final report, Mr Wako told the Sunday Standard that there was no interference from the President, Raila or the DP.

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“If there was any political interference, we could not have reached a consensus on various issues as a team. I did not receive any call from the principals and the taskforce was left to work independently,” he said.

Recounting how the journey started, the Busia Senator said despite having been named as Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji’s co-chair, the first step was to do away with the position in order to have one team leader.

“The first thing we did was to reject the concept of a co-chair that could have created two sides in one team yet we were there to work on a document aimed at unifying the country. We put the co-chair appointments aside and decided to work by putting the country’s interests first,” he said, adding that the selection of the taskforce members represented the face of the country.

Spent less

Members of the team were Dr Adams Oloo, Prof Morompi Ole Ronkai, Archbishop Zacheus Okoth, Rose Moseu, Agnes Kavindu, Florence Omose, Maison Leshomo, Maj (Rtd) Seii, Bishop Imathu, James Matundura, Prof Saeed Mwanguni and joint secretaries Mwangi and Amb Martin Kimani.

Wako also said the team spent less than Sh250 million which was funded by the government, the EU and US.

By Sunday Standard Jacob Ngetich, Moses Njagih and Everlyne Kwmaboka

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Lifestyle

Chris Kirubi advises fans against rushing into marriage, says they’ll get wrong partners

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Chris Kirubi recently admitted having cancer brought him closer to God

Now, he feels like marriage should never be a rushed endeavour

The businessman advised his fans to always proceed with moderation and wait for the blessing of marriage to come at its own time

Kirubi added rushing into matrimony might cause people to marry the wrong partners

Chris Kirubi is a business mogul, an astute entrepreneur and a man after God’s heart.

However, people have always wondered how a successful guy like him chose not to search for his missing rib after being single for nearly two decades.

During an interview with Business Daily, the Cytonn Investments boss chose to clear the air on why his marital status has always been stuck on single.

The 79-year-old billionaire said he is not willing to chase after the idea of marriage just to please the society.

According to him, rushing into holy matrimony can only lead to a massive heartbreak.

Apparently, when people rush into marriage without sitting back and being patient, they end up getting hitched to the wrong person.

The tycoon reckons that marriage is a blessing but still insists everything happens in its own time.

“Marriage comes to you and it is a blessing, but you do not go chasing it around because you will get the wrong partner. If I am blessed then I will be blessed,” Kirubi said.

Not too long ago, the wealthy businessman admitted his battle with cancer brought him closer to God.

READ ALSO:   DP Ruto ‘adds’ new verse to the Bible – VIDEO

He has learnt God is the most powerful being who never abandons his children even at their lowest moments.

“It is a shame we always go to God when we need Him, but God will never turn you away because you came to Him later rather than earlier,” Kirubi noted.

By Tuko

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Prince Harry: It brings me great sadness that it has come to this – VIDEO

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Britain’s Prince Harry conveyed “great sadness” on Sunday after he and his wife Meghan royal titles were taken away as part of their agreement with the Queen.

Harry says he saw this as the only way for him to go in the aim for “a more peaceful life” with his wife and young son Archie.

“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” Harry told supporters of his Africa-based charity in London.

These were his first emotional remarks since the exit from the royals whose goal was to calm the crisis shaking Britain’s ancient monarchy.

Harry was also frank in that he has been faced with some uneasiness and anxiety since taking the big step of resigning from his royal duties and embarking on a new journey and life abroad.

He was mentally prepared to lose the lavish lifestyle supported by the public money. But what pained him the most was losing his military titles and patronages he got after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army.

The couple agreed to pay back approximately taxpayers money $3.1 million used to renovate their home near Windsor Castle.

“I know I haven’t always gotten it right but, as far as this goes, there really was no other option,” Harry said.

READ ALSO:   Moment when DP Ruto ‘shooed off’ journalists covering his function

 

 

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Entertainment

PHOTOS:Raila preparing fish excites Kenyans

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday, January 19, 2020, excited several Kenyans on the internet after he posted photographs of himself preparing fish.

The photos contained images of Raila and his wife Ida Odinga standing next to a sink holding a knife and fish while surrounded by other people.

The two were dressed in kitchen attire.

In the post, Raila boasts that he is teaching his wife how to prepare the fish.

“Ida thinks she was teaching me but really I was teaching her. Happy Sunday from the Odinga’s!” read the caption.

Kenyans online were quick to react with a majority expressing their excitement.

Gideon Kitheka – Hahaha Hahaha, next time invite me Baba. Blessed Sunday Sir.

Mbuku Michael – Jakom Kumbe unajua kupika Samaki na Omenga Pia Mimi Napenda Samaki Kama wewe Ukimaliza kupika Tupe….

Salama – Well done sometimes a man has to get to the kitchen and make a meal for his family.

Simon Omondi – Who am I to refuse preparing a dish if baba can.

Wesley Cheruyot – why do I have a feeling that you were doing nothing but just dressed and holding kitchenware for photo session?

On Christmas in 2019, a video went viral of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader preparing breakfast for his family.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS:Ruto's Karen mansion converted into a church

By SDE

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