What you need to know:
- Ensuring fair representation, both in parliament and at the county level, is one of the main principles of the Building Bridges Initiative.
Recent news that President Kenyatta has reached out to political leaders from a range of different political parties as part of new revenue sharing proposals is good news for the future of Kenya.
Ensuring fair representation, both in parliament and at the county level, is one of the main principles of the Building Bridges Initiative. A great deal of inequality over the years has been caused by unfair representation in government and Parliament.
Oftentimes, this means that those in the most populous counties are getting allocated less government funds per person than those in sparsely populated counties, while they have the same amount of representatives in parliament.
This results in some citizens getting less attention and funds from the government than others, depending on where they live. We need to fix this inherently unfair system, and the president has gotten the ball rolling on this process.
One of the main issues that has caused so much strife in our nation - the lack of trust between communities, inter-ethnic animosity, and even post-election violence - is the feeling that not everyone is getting their fair share of the pie. Many people have felt that they or the communities they represent are not getting fair treatment in government.
And this is a problem because it indicates that a society is inherently unfair. Throughout most of Kenya’s history, this truly was the case. Tribes with more people in power could proliferate their power by passing on the baton within their community. Some regions got more funding for development projects, roads, healthcare and other public amenities, while others were left behind.
This was repeated for generations, but the political game in Kenya has changed, and with it, our society as a whole.
At no other point in Kenya’s history has a president been willing to seek advice and partnership from leaders of so many different tribes and political parties. But Kenyatta has come to understand that without this attitude, it will be impossible to leave any lasting impact on the country.
Today’s young people are far less interested in tribal affiliations than they are in their general Kenyan identity. Young people are more than happy to date and marry people from other tribes, and do not see their ethnic identity as a hindrance to friendship and love.
The President and various other politicians have taken note, and it appears that they are willing to put the past behind them and work towards making Kenya one of the most equal societies in Africa.
Kenyatta, towards the final years of his second term, has made it no secret that this is one of several key issues that he wants to be part of his legacy.
The main aspects are unity, representation, equality, and fairness. In other words, a healthy and thriving democracy. The outcome of these key points is the Building Bridges Initiative, a programme that brings together people from across the political divide and from all of the corners of our country with a common goal.
Before and after the Covid-19 pandemic, our aspirations as a nation have and will remain the same.
Even if some elite politicians benefit from holding onto power and passing it on generation after generation, the wise ones are all familiar with one truth. In a healthy democracy, no one can truly prosper unless the whole nation is functioning well.
Even the richest will cannot really enjoy their wealth when the country overall is not healthy. That is why we must share revenues and make sure that the national treasury operates to serve all Kenyans.
This is one of the main purposes of the BBI: to bring our nation together through practical solutions that serve us all. We need more action and less talking, and that is precisely what the president is doing by reaching out to politicians from other parties and getting their support to proceed.
Kenya is for Kenyans, and not our politicians! This is the first step to ensuring that our taxes are gathered and redistributed fairly. The next steps are true harmony and prosperity. Despite the global health pandemic, and maybe because of it, it is important now more than ever that we enter a mindset of sharing everything that we have and working together as one.
Ms Anyango is a social commentator. [email protected]