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Coast residents cry foul over BBI contents

Dante Mwandawiro
Written by Dante Mwandawiro

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga received the much-awaited BBI report in Kisii, setting the stage for a political rollercoaster in the country. Many had hoped that the document that is a product of the 2018 handshake would have a magic bullet to solve the myriad of chronic problems facing this nation since independence. It was expected to address inter alia, violence during elections, winner takes it all scenario, ethnicity and ethnic-based politics, corruption, gender disparity, economic and historical marginalization.

The serpent is now out and it seems that the contents of the document have not gone down well with the Coast people. Online reactions revealed that most residents are not happy with the report and have vowed to reject it. They say that the task force failed to incorporate their recommendations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga receiving the BBI report in Kisii

Former Kisauni MP Annania Mwaboza posted on popular Coast-based Whatsapp groups that resolutions presented by Kilifi County governor to the Taskforce Committee on behalf of the six counties were not captured. Former Kilifi County gubernatorial candidate Michael Tinga termed the BBI as rubbish. Naomi Cidi said that land ownership matters in the region, that are so dear for Coast people were not factored, and proclaimed, ‘No land reforms, no BBI’, she wrote.

Others who poked holes in the document are USPK Mombasa County Chairman Juma Mwarome, Wilson Yaa, and popular Coast-based controversial blogger, Tsomnyazi Wa Nganga. Mr. Wa Nganga, in his characteristic hard-hitting posts, said that aspirations of the Coast people were on Majimboism (Federalism), land rights, greater economic mobilization, and the greater political voice, but not what is contained in the report.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi had drummed up support for a regional government, which unfortunately was not considered in the report. It is yet to be known whether the two will still mobilize their troops to support a report that never captured the aspirations of their people, or they will defy Raila Odinga and reject it.