Competing political interests and failed pressure from the West led by the United States were the cause of the delay in releasing the Building Bridges Initiative report.

Insiders close to the presidency intimated that the head of state was forced to set up a multi-agency team comprising officials from the Attorney General’s Chambers, National Intelligence Service, National Treasury and his legal team to comb and toothpick through the report before it was handed over to him and Raila Odinga.

The scrutiny was meant to identify the missing gaps as well as the political, economic and social ramifications were the report to be implemented.

Uhuru did not want a report that would spark political tension and divisions in the country and that is why he ordered it be handed to the multiagency team for fine-tuning before it would be released to the public.

Some of the recommendations the president viewed as hostile included the reduction of elective seats which would have seen the report shot down in parliament.
The other recommendation was adopting a parliamentary system where the president or prime minister would be chosen by the legislators. This recommendation was likely to be shot down during the referendum by the voters who are keen to elect their leader themselves. Scrapping of the women representative seat was also likely to see the women leaders gang up against the report.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta with President Donald Trump in a past event. Photo/Courtesy

The Donald Trump administration which desperately wanted to fund the BBI operations, an offer the task force rejected, was intent on controlling the drafting of the report to include aspects that would out-rightly be rejected by the Kenyan people.

A reliable source that spoke to Citizen Weekly on condition of anonymity, said that the task-force out-rightly rejected recommendations to include the LGBT agenda, Pro- abortion and freedom of worship to recognize devil worship as a religion. These suggestions angered members of the task force and the American team was locked out of the proceedings forcing them to retaliate by designating senator Amos Wako to attract public backlash in order to discredit him.

The Senator is said to have been the driving force in locking out the American team.

On the Prime ministers position, NARC Kenya leader, Martha Karua said the two-term limit set by the 2010 constitution was passed to ensure that no president stays in power for more than 10 years urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to finish his term and let somebody else take the mantle.

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Senator Amos Wako

She was speaking at a women’s conference in Nairobi that brought together over 200 leaders including MPs, senators, MCAs, and student leaders under the umbrella #WomenAgendaKe.

It also dawned on the president that during the compilation of the report, William Ruto got constant briefs on the progress and what direction the drafting was taking. It was also reported that there were several Ruto loyalists in the task force briefing him daily on what Railas wing was pushing for.

Joint secretaries Martin Kimani and Paul Mwangi were responsible for briefing the President and Raila on every step of the exercise. The team that is headed by Garissa senator Yusuf Haji hands over the final report to Uhuru and Raila this Tuesday.

Besides Haji, the other members of the task force are Adams Oloo, Busia senator Amos Wako, Agnes Kavindu who is Johnson Muthamas estranged wife, Saeed Mwanguni, Florence Omose, Morompi ole Ronk, Peter Njenga and John Seii.

Also in the team are James Matundura, Lawi Imathiu, Samburu woman representative Maison Leshomo, Rose Museo and Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth. The team is said to comprise of experts in law, governance and a cross-section of leaders with a grasp of constitutional writing.

The task force was required to develop policy, administrative reform proposals, and implementation modalities for each identified challenge area. Ethnic antagonism, lack of a national ethos, exclusivity, devolution, divisive elections, security, corruption, shared prosperity and responsibility were some of the broad issues identified.