Building bridges versus mending walls

Building bridges initiative versus mending walls.   It cannot be doing one and the same thing.  This is my concern for BBI.  Kenyans need to be wary of the imminent likelihood that we might end up mending walls instead of building bridges.

With the previously adversarial teams into the field, we would only hope they will be meeting on terms of civility and neighborliness.  Hopefully not to build a barrier between them, or to mend broken ones.  If two or three principals in the political arena can disagree bitterly concerning BBI are they building bridges or mending walls?  How do they expect the citizens to respond or react?  Better still we hope they will not be trying to wall out Kenyans from themselves as they try to see how to apportion power between themselves.

Those setting conditions for others if they are to attend are perhaps wall-building or mending walls than building bridges.  Trying to become a process owner of such an outfit would segregate others and perhaps make them want to create a parallel force all the more.  This must not be happening if the goodwill to come up with a building bridge (BBI) for all is to materialize.

I am reminded of Robert Frost’s poem ‘Mending Wall‘.  A narrative of two neighbours mending a broken wall. While one neighbor repeats an old saying that both know well ‘good fences make good neighbors’.  The ‘I’ is full of mischief and asks why? – ‘Before I built a wall I’d ask to know: what was I walling in or walling out? And to whom I was like to give offense?’

The precaution each neighbor has to painstakingly observe to keep the balance was to ‘stay where you are until our backs are turned’.

BBI is a choice between no alternatives and that is why no team wants to say an absolute No to it.  The dye is cast i.e whether Kenyans read it for themselves to understand or not.

It won’t matter if the political class sees it’s their time for political mileage or whether it ionizes the atmosphere to the point of ignition?

Could we be doing ourselves any good by opening up old wounds?  Were Kenyans known to be hygienic enough to hold a healthy national debate?  Was the president and Rt Hon PM so obsessed with building a legacy at the expense of losing their presence of mind about the people they lead.?These are all outcomes Kenyans cannot afford to be ignorant about.

It could be that BBI is an attempt like no other to mend fences. Or perhaps, and that is our wish that BBI will actually build bridges.  These are the two dimensions and one or the other will prevail.

As health care workers BBI has something for us, it proposes the health service commission(HSC).  The reader can get to read a reflective analysis of the human resources for health as envisioned in the BBI.  This is attempts to frame the debate for a Health service Commission and making a case for Universal Health Coverage.

You might want to see Robert Frost’s poem ‘Mending Wall‘. Here too you will find a national ethos proposal for Kenya the land of the incorruptible.

One can reach the BBI secretariat through bbi@citizensupport.go.ke

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