Major retired John Seii [photo: Tuko]
Nov, 6th 2020 – A member of the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce has claimed that the team did not review the final draft of the report and were ambushed to append their signatures on it.
Major retired John Seii, says officials of the 14-member task force had only summarized the report following its launch in November 2019. One member declined to sign and it took the team of experts time to convince before the entire team penned their signatures. Seii said, “We had no time to go through the document and the 14 of us looked at each other in total disbelief when we were asked to sign the final BBI draft that was set to be handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.”
He says that they should have been called earlier to have the time to go through the final draft before signing it. Seii said, “The document had been well-prepared and what was left is for us to sign. I had expected we be called on a Wednesday so that we can review its content first. The experts, however, told us nothing had been changed, and we had to sign in trust.“
Seii, the Emeritus chair of the Kalenjin Council of Elders (Myoot), said that the original document that had been prepared and launched in 2019 in Bomas had been summarized.
Seii finally suggested that Kenyans, should have been presented the initial report containing enough ‘flesh’ to enable the ordinary citizen to read and understand the document before making any decision. He said, “From June 2018, we embarked on the task and Kenyans were guided to contribute on the nine pillars that included devolution, equity in share of national revenues, rights, and containing post-election violence among others.“
According to Seii, commissioners and MPs were tasked with the responsibility of mobilising residents during the sittings. He said that each county presented at least 120 attendance and no constituency was left out. Seii said, “We noted that a majority of residents did not have a prior preparation to present their views on the thematic issues. They gave personal views, most of which, were irrelevant in preparing the report.”
He says that a team of 35 experts had been selected on top of the 14taskforce membera and two members of the secretariat to work on the document validation process. “An introduction was done and our chairman Senator Yussuf Haji asked the experts to team work with the taskforce in preparing a good document for the country. The 35 experts were then reduced to 18 who later prepared the summarised final draft.“
He further argued that the final draft was taken to Naivasha where some issues also emerged which were never contained in the report. He said, “At national level, it was recommended that a party leader who emerged second be co-opted in National assembly and be given a full office of official opposition leader who will make a shadow cabinet. If a winner garners 52 percent, we cannot ignore somebody who has 48 per cent of the votes if we are to build unity.“