BB-Why Cover

The BB - Why?


January 11, 2021

The BBI is “a systematic institutionalization of political elitism to re-define equality, equity and representation.”


The discourse on BBI is critical to development investment in Kenya. It is crucial to the activities, initiative and programs that affect the Kenyan public. The results from the referendum will affect the response to activities, funding procedures and citizen participation. The report provides facts that serve as an encouragement and a call to  all of us to take a step and educate the electorate about the proposals provided in the BBI document, and the resulting impact. 

While the only amendment warranting a constitutional referendum remains to be the inclusion of the office of the prime minister, and the two deputies, there is no justification for these proposals. Their presence will not resolve the “winner-take-all” challenge. The positions will serve to increase bureaucracy in government. The BBI therefore chooses an expansive democracy option that does not serve the interest of the local mwananchi “Wanjiku”. 

As a recommendation, Kenyans can focus on an efficiency-oriented democratization, and move away from an expansive democratization process that is included in the BBI report. The integrative approach to democratization is the most effective one. It simultaneously increases the quantity and quality of participation. It stresses the measures for democratic reforms that promote various types of participation alongside taking policy choices. The expansionist strategies suggested by the BBI are more susceptible to risk.

An increase in the quantity of participation will actually endanger other values of democracy such as individual and human rights. It will not allow for inherent mechanisms which ensure the quality of participation that “Wanjiku” anticipates. As a development partner and an implementer, your role would be to provide education to the electorate through your funding, programs and initiatives. Avoiding doing so will result in a threat to democracy, one that will be cemented in the 2022 elections.