Pastoralist leaders now declare support for BBI after Raila meet


Pastoralist communities have made an about-turn and declared their unwavering support for the BBI report after they were assured their concerns would be addressed.

The pastoralist leaders were led by Jubilee Coalition Secretary Adan Keynan and National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.

The Pastoralist Leaders Forum, which comprises of governors, MPs, CSs and PSs and speakers of county assemblies, on Monday said members had unanimously resolved to throw their weight behind the BBI process.

The leaders had last week identified 10 areas that they wanted to be amended but have since narrowed them down to three.

CS Yatani, the group said former Prime Minister Raila Odinga assured them that their concerns would be addressed. ODM leader Raila Odinga when he addressed the Pastoralist Leaders Forum at the Serena Hotel on November 9, 2020.

“I can confirm to you that we have been deliberating on the matter and we have now resolved to support the BBI in totality. We want to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for having a special place for us in this matter,” said Yatani after a meeting with Raila at a Nairobi hotel.

The leaders agreed to form a technical committee that will liaise with the BBI team to address their concerns.

The three issues they said would be extending the Equalisation Fund for 20 years, establishing the Livestock Marketing Authority and deleting proposed amendment on Article 203 (1) of the Constitution on revenue allocation. Members of the Pastoralist Leaders Forum when they met ODM leader Raila Odinga at the Serena Hotel on November 9, 2020.

Concerns identified earlier but were dropped include securing and protecting the 290 existing constituencies, making Senate the Upper House and doing away with the proposal to create the Health Service Commission.

Raila said the three concerns raised by the pastoralist communities would be adequately addressed.

“The issues will be taken on board. The technical team will sit down and look at them,” he assured.

Raila added that it is important to address the issues of concern raised by pastoralist communities if their potential is to be unlocked.

“Pastoralist areas are rich in resources and have the potential for tourism and other businesses. Infrastructure is also critical in these areas because these regions have been subjected to marginalisation for a long time,” he explained.

He added: “We are reading from the same page and talking the same language. Each and every Kenyan is equal.”