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The much awaited BBI report was submitted to the President on 26th November and consequently launched on 27th November at the Bomas of Kenya.

The process that saw the committee members visit all the 47 counties, interview about 400 elected leaders, receive 261 emailed memoranda and another 755 written submissions from the .public was concluded after a nationwide consultation that reached about 7,000 Kenyans.

Contrary to the majority perception, the committee found out that Kenyans are more worried by unemployment than the structure or form the government takes. In light of this finding the committee dedicated the process to finding out key challenges faced by Kenyans and prescribed solution and mitigation processes.

Chief among the reason for persistent electoral violence that characterises kenya after every election was found to be lack of national ethos. To this challenge the commission reccomended the creation of shared beliefs, ideals and aspirations that build and reinforce the unity of Kenyans. The establishment of these beliefs would be embedded in the education system so that Kenyans are exposed to and made to understand them from an early age.

Other than the creation of national ethos, the report reccomended the establishment of right and responsibility of citizens to encourage a sense of responsibility among citizens, to this end, the creation of a national volunteer network is envisioned to create a framework within which citizens can offer service to the country and to those in need.

On dual citizenship, the report reccomended that dual citizenship holders be treated as equal citizens capable of serving kenya in any position except the position of the president, defense establishment and members of the military council.

On ethics antagonism and divisive politics, the report reccomended the abolishing of the winner takes all model and in its place adopt a home grown model with a president and a prime minister. In the homegrown model the report reccomended the following :

That the President

  • Shall be elected through universal sufferage – one man, one vote election. To be the president, one shall have to get 50+1% of total votes casts and at least 25% of total votes cast in more than half the counties.
  • Shall appoint the Prime Minister from the party with majority in the National Assembly.
  • Shall be the head of state and government and the central symbol of national unity.
  • Shall appoint the cabinet after consultation with the Prime Minister.

The committee further recommends that the Prime Minister shall have the following functions.

  • Be the leader of government bussiness in the National Assembly.
  • Chair sub committee cabinet meetings when directed by the president.
  • Perform any duty assigned by the president.
  • Take part in question time in the National Assembly.
  • Lead the execution of government policies.

On the question of cabinet, the report reccomended the creation of a mixed cabinet, mixed in the sense that it shall comprise of both technocrats and politicians drawn from the National Assembly. The office of cabinet secretary shall be renamed to cabinet minister while the position of chief administrative secretary to be abolished.

Moreover, the Prime Minister shall have to be an elected member of parliament with his or her appointment subject to parliamentary approval. The Prime Minister shall vacate office when dismissed by the president, voluntarily resign or impeached by members of parliament. The Prime Minister shall not receive any salary for his Premiership role, rather, he or she will only earn his or her member of parliament salary.

The cabinet ministers drawn from parliament shall be ex oficio members of the august house and obligated to answer members of parliament questions during question times, through this mechanism, the report envisions a cabinet that is accountable to the people through their elected members of parliament.

Official Opposition Leader.

The runner-up of the presidential election shall be the official opposition leader, the runner up shall be nominated to parliament and be enabled to establish a shadow cabinet which shall challenge the government position and policies in the National Assembly, the shadow cabinet shall be empowered to ensure that it has access to research facilities for proper policy analysis and understanding.

Contrary to the expectations of the public, the report reccomended that the 290 be retained as they are to enable proper representation. The same shall be done with the counties and wards across the country.

To address cronyism, run away corruption and tribalism in the recruitment of public servants in general and the disciplined forces in particularly, the report reccomended that the recruitment process be tendered to reputable private sector firms, the private sector run recruitment is expected to focus on merits rather than individuals last names and depth of their pockets.

The economy being an important part of national development, the report has come up with revolutionary recommendations aimed at turning around the dwindling economic fortunes of the country, in this regard, the report recommends the following :

  • That the government protect intellectual property of the citizens who dare to invent new technologies and ideas and put up mechanisms to ensure global compliance with the country’s intellectual property protection laws.
  • Revise the National taxation system to ensure that more money is left in Kenyans pockets to enable investment and raising standard of living, if done properly the country can achieve a 25% domestic savings.
  • Develop a 50 year economic growth blue print to spell a route towards industrialization and wealth creation.
  • Champion for 70:30 development versus expenditure ratio, this is to ensure that for every Ksh 100 of national budget, ksh 70 shall go towards development.
  • Offer incentives to Kenyans living in the diaspora to enable them invest extensively in the local economy.
  • Offer new and small businesses tax holidays lasting a minimum of 7 years to give them room for expansion.

Corruption being a threat to both national security and economic prosperity, the report has recommended the following to ensure an effective fight against the vice :

  • Barring all public servants from doing business with the government or undertaking private businesses that may lead to conflict of interest.
  • Public declaration of wealth by all prospective public servants and explanation of the source of wealth where it exceeds ksh 50 million.
  • 100% digitization of government services, processes, payment systems and records.
  • Protect the independence of the judiciary and empower the DCI and ODPP for effectively investigation, prosecution and conviction of corruption perpetrators.
  • Encourage whistblowing by protecting whistle-blower identity and guaranteeing their security while offering them 5% of the proceeds of corruption recovered due to their actions.

Devolution being the true genius of the 2010 constitution, the BBI committed did not neglect to recommend ways to make it better and more suitable to the individual needs of the people. The BBI recommended the following for effective operation of county governments :

  • That each and every ward in all counties be allocated at least 20% of the total county development fund.
  • That number of counties be retained at 47.
  • That resource allocation to counties be increased by 30-50% of the last audited accounts.
  • That running mates of gubernatorial candidates be of the opposite gender.
  • That in case the position of deputy governor falls vacant and the governor fails to appoint another deputy within 90 days, the speaker of county assembly after consultation with members of the county assembly shall appoint the deputy governor.

The report recommends that the president upon assuming office, publish a comprehensive national security and safety strategy within three months.

Among other recommendations proposed by the committee are.

  • Bestowing upon Nairobi County a special status to enable the National government to provide necessary services and facilitatons.
  • Complete overhaul of the public service board to enable auditing.
  • Government to carry out education to parents to salvage the dying values of family.
    • Persons With Disabilities to be aided and organized to be able to elect or nominate their leaders as opposed to the current situation where PWDs representatives are chosen by political psrties.
    • Replace the 26th December Boxing Day celebration with National Culture Day to celebrate and learn different cultures.
    • Renaming the National Archives and Documentation to Official Historian and National Archive Service led by an established and highly regarded scholar of African History.
    • Produce the history of Kenya dating back to 1000 years.
    • Ensure all churches, mosques and temples are properly recorded in a public register and their finances are subjected to an annual audit publicity posted where every member of the congregation can see.
    • Establish an appellate Kadhi court in line with the aspirations and desires of the Muslim community.
    • Create special position of special magistrates and judges to deal with the most grivious cases of drug trafficking, corruption and terrorism and special security arrangement be made for these judges and magistrates at the state expenses.
    • Establish a health service commission to responsible for the human resourcing of health facilities.
    • Establish a patient bills of right which would ensure that no hospital hold patients hostage, ensure that misdiagnosis is punished and that hospitals give priority to stabilizing patients in critical conditions over money.

John Otieno

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