Ideas & Debate

EDITORIAL: Lessons from BBI report

Contentious as the whole political enterprise around the Building Bridges Initiative may be, it goes without saying that some of the recommendations in its report are worth implementing and should have become part of Kenya’s public culture by now given that some are self-evident and do not require a legal framework to turn into reality.

The first is that counties should also contribute to baking the national cake, not just being content with receiving allocations from the national government. The whole idea of devolution was that counties would be empowered to have a greater control of their destiny. One way to do that is by having a robust tax regime that raises sufficient revenue to run public services while ensuring that taxpayers are not stifled but get value for money. The other is that the leadership at both the county and national government levels must reduce wastage of resources and must provide value for tax revenue. The other is the conundrum of paying public servants sitting allowances for the jobs they are paid a salary to do in the first place.

The proposals on entrenching gender equity is another noble idea that, examined critically, does not require a report to implement. The question that political leaders should be answering is why this is not happening, not whether the ideas should be legislated.

Already, private institutions are mainstreaming gender in the workplace and there is no reason why the public sector cannot simply borrow a leaf from such innovative approaches to reducing gender inequality.

The idea, for instance, of large entourages make all too frequent trips abroad, without tangible benefits for the public is just one case in point.

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