Kenyans will be forgiven for being indifferent to the ongoing political theatre. The economy is limping, the pandemic is ravaging, the future looks bleak. And yet, as we’re often reminded, it is darkest just before dawn. There are no prizes for guessing the cause(s) for Kenya’s darkness. One, if not the leading cause of the country’s gloom, is a bankrupt politics which has bankrupted the National Treasury and left the malnourished economy holding a begging bowl.
The conversation Kenyans must now begin having is what their new dawn will look like, and how this dawn will be brought about. As they ponder over the possibilities of a new tomorrow, Kenyans must ask themselves whether they wish to leave this re-imagining Kenya project in the hands of those who have driven the country into its present-day abyss or whether they want to guard their probable futures against the greed, gimmicks and entitlement of these purveyors of darkness – some of whom are currently reinventing themselves and masquerading as the new merchants of hope.
Amidst all of this, there is the Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI), whose proponents argue will unify the country and whose detractors posit is a divisive project ab initio. And as one would expect with majority of Kenya’s mostly expedient political elite, they have since split up into two factions – one championing BBI from the rooftops and the other acting lukewarm – each fashioning itself as the ultimate panacea to the prevailing darkness, each distancing itself from the ongoing chaos and confusion. Let’s blame history, the pandemic, our fore fathers and mothers, let’s blame everything and everyone, but let’s not take responsibility for our actions.
And so, as politicians feign Damascene moments – putting up poorly scripted performances of themselves morphing from perpetrators of our present darkness into agents of our future light – Kenyans are left with the shorter end of the stick, unsure whether their opinions matter, whether their votes will matter were the proposed referendum to happen, the same way they keep wondering whether their votes will count at the battle royale, the 2022 General Election.
With unavailability of the BBI document for interrogation by the citizens, the conversation has since been reduced to one of taking political sides informed by the prematurely launched 2022 presidential contest, while on the table lies a cross-section of possible constitutional amendments which may fundamentally alter the country’s governance architecture.
It is for this reason – the need to cut out the noise and pull apart the BBI proposals as contained in The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020 – that Debunk Media has risen above the fray and through a seven-episode series, sought independent expert opinions of Atsango Chesoni and Bobby Mkangi, two distinguished Kenyan jurists who served as members of the Committee of Experts (CoE) which midwifed the 2010 Constitution. Moderated by Debunk Editor-at-Large Asha Mwilu, the series takes the Kenyan public on a step-by-step debunking of BBI, staying true to the maxim that an informed public makes for an empowered citizenry.