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Lobby launches bid for 10mn vernacular BBI report translations

The lobby’s National Coordinator Cathy Irungu (centre) said the vernacular versions are currently being translated by local language experts drawn from two public universities and the first batch of copies will be out in January 2020/Sauti Mashinani

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – A civil society organization will print 10 million vernacular translations of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report launched on November 27 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The vernacular reports will then be used in the organization’s public participation forums which will be held at constituency level beginning February 2020, the National Steering Committee of Sauti Mashinani, a Nairobi-based lobby group, announced on Thursday.

The group with regional coordinators across the country said it will attempt to translate the document in all the 44 vernacular languages in Kenya.

The lobby’s National Coordinator Cathy Irungu said the vernacular versions are currently being translated by local language experts drawn from two public universities and the first batch of copies will be out in January 2020.

“We are taking the BBI debate to the next level; The level of the people. We have resulted to local languages so that everyone can read for themselves,” said Irungu.

Irungu said the civic education will be conducted in town halls where sobriety and focus will be a critical component of the teachings.

She added that they were wary of the perspectives the political class had taken and said they wanted to safeguard the public from the accompanying political undertones.

“We shall have lawyers and civic educators with a clear mandate to synthesize the document and share with people at the local level,” said Irungu

The lobby’s head of secretariat, Joseph Mathuki, and the head of civic education Perpetua Okello admitted the BBI report had proposed issues that could address some of the problems ailing Kenyans.

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“From our own reading, 80 per cent of the report is progressive and useful. We want to tell the people about this 80 per cent and then they will give us the feedback on how to make it better,” said Mathuki.

Okello said they will compile a report and hand it to the BBI task force from observations by people at the grassroots level.

“We are taking the lead in giving wananchi a platform to synthesize and make recommendations from a point of knowledge,” she said.

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