Does BBI Report Leave Atwoli With an Egg on His Face?

The Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) report was on Tuesday handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his 2017 archrival Raila Odinga at State House.

A host of leaders including Deputy President William Ruto, Vice Presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, Speakers of National and Senate Assembly, cabinet secretaries, invited governors, MPs, religious leaders among others were present.

File: COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli.

Though the report is set to be launched on Wednesday officially at the Bomas of Kenya, an analysis of the document paints a picture of nothing so earthshaking as earlier envisaged.

Contrary to the allegations of what the BBI portended for the nation, the reality finally dawned on many that the BBI report was seemingly an honest and noble course.

And as the nation stares at the glaring reality of the BBI report, outspoken Secretary-General of Central Organization of Trade Union(COTU) Francis Atwoli in all appearances has nothing to smile.

Atwoli, known for making accurate political prophecies, has for the first time lost his mojo after his predictions on the BBI recommendations went south.

On record, Atwoli has on several occasions rooted for a referendum before the 2022 General Elections.

At one time while talking to JKL Live in March, the outspoken trade unionist expressed optimism that the country will be headed for a referendum before the end of 2019.

According to him, the BBI task force among other recommendations was to propose a referendum that will eliminate a winner take-it-all problem that, he said, was the main reason to blame for the post-election wrangles.

President Uhuru Kenyatta reading the BBI report.

Also, the unionist has on record insisted that President Uhuru is going nowhere come to 2022 since a parliamentary system was in the offing to accommodate him.

On several occasions, Atwoli said that the Head of State is too young to retire and that the constitution will be amended through a referendum to accommodate him.

Despite Uhuru publicly insisting that he will retire come 2022, the BBI report was touted as Uhuru-Raila plot to stick to power.

Judging by the criticism the report received even before it was read by anyone, Atwoli’s word was not taken for granted by a section of leaders allied to DP Ruto who were a sceptic of the BBI course.

The report seemingly appeared dead on a rival after the Ruto-allied MPs expressed outright reservations.

On the other hand, MPs allied to Uhuru-Raila handshake including Atwoli had some sought of a belief that the BBI course will give birth to a possible referendum.

President Uhuru Kenyatta (Centre), Deputy President William Ruto (Left) ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) with the BBI taskforce team.

But with nation seemingly united on the BBI course, two facts stand out: the referendum is not in the offing and President Uhuru is not interested in sticking to power come 2022.

Already National Assembly Majority leader has hinted that the recommendations proposed by the task force can be effected without a referendum.

“Establishment of the position of a Prime Minister appointed by the President with approval of the House is achievable by amending the Constitution without causing a referendum

“Even though most of us who genuinely desired a Parliamentary system have not achieved it through the BBI, I have strong faith that we can achieve all the proposals contained in the BBI report WITHOUT referendum, which will be divisive, with winners and losers,” tweeted Duale.

No wonder MPs allied to Ruto have already rescinded their position and pulled their weight behind the course.

The BBI report seems to be so good to everyone but do this revelations leave Atwoli with no option but to shut up? Will his 2022 prediction that Ruto will not be in the ballot come to pass?

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