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Disquiet as allegations of doctored BBI report rage

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Disquiet as allegations of doctored BBI report rage by Kenyans247(1): Sun 08, November, 2020 08:32am
What you need to know:
A source pointed out a number of discrepancies in the BBI report amid claims of a “quiet work going on to rectify some of the distortions caused by the people who altered the report”.
However, the BBI report proposes a constitutional amendment on the special status of Nairobi.
kenyans247
The Building Bridges Initiative report on constitutional, legislative and policy reforms continued to be on the spotlight as allegations that sections of it may have been “quietly edited” before it was handed over to the principals in October mounted.

Fresh allegations that the report may have been doctored emerged, with a source within the BBI team pointing out discrepancies between the “original” report that had been agreed on by the time the team completed its task on June 30 and October 21 when they submitted the report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

However, one of the joint secretaries of the BBI team, Mr Paul Mwangi, once again dismissed the claims that the report may have been tinkered with before it was submitted to the principals.

“The record is clear as to what members agreed on and what they did not,” said Mr Mwangi.


A member of the BBI’s technical team Joseph Simekha has posted on Twitter allegations that the report that was presented to the principals was not the document that the BBI Steering Committee had settled on.

Read: Why Ruto allies say BBI could be a blessing in disguise

“We have raised/are raising some of the issues in different style after ghosts participated in rewriting sections of the report,” Mr Simekha posted on Twitter on October 27, just a day after the report was launched and several weeks before a member of the Steering Committee, Major (Rtd) John Seii said the same in a radio interview.

Discrepancies
And yesterday, a source pointed out a number of discrepancies in the BBI report amid claims of a “quiet work going on to rectify some of the distortions caused by the people who altered the report”.

For example, according to the final version of the Consolidated Report on Implementation Instruments for Recommended Public Policy Interventions, there was the proposed Kenya National Policy Guide on Good Governance. However, in the final report that was handed to President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, the title of the policy had been changed to the Kenya National Policy Guide on Clean and Effective Government.

Whoever did the change, however, forgot to effect the same in the Implementation Matrix, which still reads as Kenya National Policy Guide on Good Governance.

Read: Women MPs allied to Ruto declare war on BBI report

Similarly, the ‘original’ report, according to the source, had 10 policy guidelines but in the final report, two more were added namely the Kenya National Policy Guide on Combatting Impunity and the Kenya National Policy Guide on Tax Policy.

Interestingly, though the additional two policies are in the main text of the report as part of Annex A’s Implementation Instruments for Recommended Public Policy Measures, the same are not captured in the Implementation Matrix, which only has 10 policy guidelines as is the Consolidated Report on Implementation Instruments for Recommended Public Policy Interventions that Sunday Nation has seen.


“The policy section was massively altered, yet it is actually supposed to inform the constitutional bill. Policy is the software, philosophical foundation of national character. For example, on the grievances being raised by groups like pastoralist communities: if what was agreed on under the policy section was not removed, especially on Productivity and Shared Prosperity, it would have provided for an inclusive philosophy for the economic system,” the source said.

But Mr Mwangi denied that there were any discrepancies in the report, especially on the policy section.

“There are none. The policy guidelines are clear and will sufficiently guide the respective government departments that will formulate the official policy documents,” said Mr Mwangi.

Mr Mwangi also says that none of the Steering Committee members or the technical experts raised any concerns over alleged tinkering with the report despite some members saying they did so and even briefed Mr Odinga of the same before the report was handed to them at the Kisii State Lodge.

“No such allegations have ever been raised,” he said.

Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Dennis Onyango declined to speak about the allegations that his boss had been briefed about the alleged doctoring of the report.

“Talk to BBI (secretariat),” Mr Onyango said when Sunday Nation contacted him.

Mr Seii’s claims that the report was doctored had received a swift pushback from Mr Mwangi who suggested that he may have been working at someone else’s behest. But Mr Simekha responded to Mr Mwangi to “give major absolute benefit of doubt unless evidence of mischief exists.” “Many carried away BBI content under development on their personal digital gadgets and no ill-will was ascribed to them. Correct his factual mistakes but allow him the right to express his concern,” said Mr Simekha.

Other areas of the report that have emerged as contentious amid allegations of unauthorised alterations include that it had been agreed that the Senate be the Upper House. And since there was going to be a mixed Cabinet of technocrats and politicians from the National Assembly, our source said it had been agreed that it would be the Senate to vet the appointees.


However, it is alleged that was changed without approval of the entire Steering Committee.

Similarly there is the contention around the special status of Nairobi with those alleging foul play with the report saying that the agreed document provided for a shared authority between the Nairobi County administration and the National Government.

However, the BBI report proposes a constitutional amendment on the special status of Nairobi.

The status would however have to wait for legislation by parliament.

Mr Mwangi says there were no such agreements were reached.

In the interview, Mr Seii had cited the inclusion of the judiciary ombudsman, and the proposal to increase the number of MPs to 360—with the extra 70 picked from selected constituencies based on population, as some of the items in the report that they had not agreed on.

wmenya@ke.nationmedia.com
https://nation.africa/kenya/news/politics/disquiet-as-allegations-of-doctored-bbi-report-rage-2884940

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