Reviewing the handshake after 2 years

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga when the Head of State visited Kisumu. (Photo/Pscu)
President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga when the Head of State visited Kisumu. (Photo/Pscu)

It’s two years down the line after the country witnessed the HANDSHAKE between the Head of State Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. Before the handshake the country had for a long period experienced divisive politics that was resulting every after general elections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga were political enemies since 2013 after the general election that Raila challenged Uhuru’s victory in the Supreme Court citing rigging but the court upheld the victory.

In 2017 the same happened where Raila termed Uhuru and Ruto as ‘vifaranga wa kompuyta’ , as he demanded for electoral reforms, he moved to the Supreme Court to again challenge the UhuRuto victory and this time round the Supreme Court Judge David Maraga nullified the results. He ordered for fresh elections which were announced by the IEBC led by Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the date was set for Kenyans to go back to the ballot to elect their president.

The ODM leader announced earlier not to participate in the election instead told his supporters to hold mega demonstrations that he later cancelled. The exercise went ahead where Uhuru was elected. The drama went on and Raila was sworn in as the people’s president by Miguna Miguna at Uhuru Park.

UhuRuto won for the second time but had difficulties in running the government since the demonstrations were being held not once or twice led by Raila Odinga.

This led to political unrests, the economy of the country was affected since investors were terrified to invest. The handshake meant good for the people of Kenya since peace was restored and political temperatures went down. The two came together to unite the country and look for ways to heal the nation.

The handshake received much resistance from leaders who felt they were not consulted terming it as a handshake between two leaders but not meant for the people of Kenya.

Leaders who resisted were from both Jubilee and NASA coalition; ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and FORD Kenya leader Moses Wetangula were not included in the handshake something they didn’t recognize but then it was.

The handshake led to Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, who was the minority leader in the Senate, to lose his position and replaced by Siaya Senator James Orengo who is a close ally to the ODM leader.

The handshake had its pros and cons.

After the handshake, the journey of Building Bridges Initiative began and a Taskforce team was formed to unify the country by consulting citizens, civil societies, churches, leaders, institutions and private sector across the 47 Counties.

After the team that was chaired by Senator Yusuf Hajj finished their task they handed over the report to the Head of State in the State House in November 2019, present were his Deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The president unveiled the report at the Bomas of Kenya later that month where different leaders across political divide attended.

The report was to be shared to Kenyans to read but up to date, that common mwananchi in the village has never accessed it.

Unlike the 2010 constitution that was printed and distributed to all Kenyans across the country so far the BBI report has remained accessible only to Kenyans who can access the internet.

The President extended the Taskforce’s operation duration in order to have time to have public participation and structuring Kenyans recommendations that are to be implemented.

From there the Task Force team went silent though meeting different leaders and groups to collect their views but BBI rallies began across the country led by the ODM leader among other leaders both from the Jubilee Party and the opposition.

Leaders are collecting views from residents of certain regions in the BBI rallies that are being held in counties across the country.

Here comes a question from a common mwananchi, what is the need of the President extending the Taskforce team’s duration and yet what they are doing has been overtaken by political leaders? Why is the country using common mwananchi’s tax to hold such big BBI rallies and yet the task force which should be facilitated doing the work they are doing and even paid after the work have not stopped working on the report which I believe they will compile then brought forth to mwananchi?

Where Kenya has reached it has lost focus.

BBI is used as 2022 political mileage to some leaders since the main agenda as it was stated is not being talked about but the message commonly is who will vie, who will not be on the ballot and who will win the presidential seat in 2022. Is this of any importance to a Kenyan who is languishing in poverty without clean water, without enough drugs in the government hospitals and without good infrastructure? Name them.

The BBI was meant for inclusivity to bring unity and one Kenya but the way it has been overtaken by the political class has brought more division in the country than was before.

Why can’t leaders be genuine to themselves and leave the BBI task to the Task Force team so that they can do their work they were appointed to do.

Kenyan political leaders are full of propaganda and full of themselves as at now most Kenyans are confused which way to follow, many are following the wind since they have never had a hard copy of the BBI report that was unveiled at the Bomas of Kenya by the President.

What is it that some leaders are supporting and some opposing that a number of Kenyans have not seen? Why are Kenyans being compelled to support something, that is the BBI report, that they’ve not had a chance to read? Leaders are misleading Kenyans and have taken advantage and use it for their own purposes ahead of the 2022 general elections.

Moreover, the highlight of the handshake and BBI is the leaders who have felt antagonized, have antagonized themselves or are in the process of doing so. Nothing personifies this like the relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy president William Ruto, and the clashing views in the Jubilee party.

There is a team that seems to be moving along with the BBI tide while another is busy critiquing components therein and the perceived intentions behind the whole movement.

If BBI was meant to bring all Kenyans across the country on board then why are some leaders using it as tool to whip others? BBI will only bring unity if the work of public participation, collecting of views will be done by the Task Force team.