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Intrigues before BBI report launch as team balanced interests



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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Autopsy shows Churchill Show comedian Kasee was poisoned




An autopsy report released on Friday, July 3, from the Chiromo mortuary has revealed the late comedian Kasee was poisoned.

The news was made public by by Kenya Comedians Society chairman, Ken Waudo, who quashed reports linking Kasee’s death to alcoholism and depression.

According to Waudo, the deceased, born Joseph Musyoki, received a call from friends on Sunday, June 28, early morning to join them for drinks at a local joint.

He then left his wife and kids to honour his friend’s wishes but never returned home.

“Kasee was chilling at home with his wife and kids when he was called to go hang out with friends and have some drinks.

“He later felt unwell saying his stomach was disturbing him and even called his dad to inform him of the same,” Waudo said.

Kasee had promised to call his dad immediately he got home but never did.

Waudo said at the place the comedian was found dead, there were some kids who revealed he had complained of stomach problems and decided to take a nap before going home.

This was the exact place that the comedian was confirmed dead on the evening of Sunday, June 28.

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“It was around 6 in the evening and cops who arrived on the scene confirmed he was dead.

“The examiner said his brain was clear and nothing to do with depression and his liver was not that bad, so he was probably poisoned,” Waudo added.

Waudo also revealed investigations were ongoing.

Kasee is survived by two children and a wife.

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‘Humanity is still alive’ – ex-TPF star Alvan Gatitu says on Kenyans support



Former Tusker project fame participant Alvan Gatitu has thanked Kenyans for coming to his aid, during a difficult moment in his life.

This was after he shared a video of himself narrating how he had been kicked out of his house.

Taking to his social media account Alvan wrote,

‘when you start your day one way and end up in a different place.

Thankful from the bottom of my heart, God bless you.

Humanity is still alive.’

Speaking during an interview on NTV Alvan said he has fought anxiety attacks before.

‘I have suffered anxiety attacks before.

One thing I promised myself is that I would never be vulnerable enough to speak about where I am in life.

I was trying to hold a fallacy that was hurting me.’

Alvan added,

‘When I woke up in that guard’s booth,I knew I was done trying to  show that am alright.

I had reached out for help and nothing was coming through.

I decided to speak the reality of my situation.’

Kenyans heard his cries and contributed towards his welfare.

It was once again a chance for Kenyans to prove that umoja ni nguvu.

Truth be told, many people are suffering it’s just that they do not have the guts to share like Alvan did.

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It’s a high time people normalized the idea of speaking out and sharing their problems.

Usikubali kufa na shida peke yaki, ongea,usikike.


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Rugby players Frank Wanyama, Alex Olaba pleads not guilty to charges of gang rape, released on Sh300k cash bail




Two rugby players have each been released on a cash bail of Ksh300,000 after they pleaded not guilty to charges of gang rape and committing an indecent act .

Frank Wanyama and Alex Olaba were in the dock on Tuesday after the High Court ordered a retrial.

Last week the High Court quashed their conviction and 15-years imprisonment after it ruled that there was no evidence that one of the key witnesses in the case was sworn in before taking to the stand.

It is a requirement that one must take oath before testifying.

Further, the court directed that they be charged afresh.

According to the charge sheet presented before the court on Tuesday, the two are alleged to have committed the offence on February 11 2018 at Seefa Apartment in Highrise estate in Nairobi County.

While granting them cash bail, the court noted that it is not bound by the previous proceedings. It however noted that they face serious charges.

Magistrate Zainab Abdul directed that the case be mentioned on July 21 for purposes of fixing a hearing date .

The two have have also been warned not to interfere with witnesses lined up in the case lest it cancels the cash bail

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