It was not a coincidence that the first Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) forum was held in Kisii and not Kisumu, which is the Nyanza region headquarters
For such functions, it's only common for them to be held in regional headquarters, the same way the Western Kenya one was held in Kakamega on Saturday.
Similarly, the Coast edition of the same has been slated for Mombasa county, the Coast headquarters, on Saturday next week.
Here are the possible reasons why the Nyanza edition, which was held last Friday, was not held in Kisumu.
1. To make it a regional and not a tribal affair
Many Kenyans still associate Nyanza region to the Luo, not knowing that the former province is the traditional home to four communities, Luo, Kisii, Suba and Kuria.
By taking the function to Kisumu, the then capital of the region, the forum would be seen as a Luo issue, which would to others mean that Luo Nyanza leaders are seeing it as their own.
In a region with several other communities, it was better to take it elsewhere, as a show of fairness, especially in a region where Luos are already being seen as dominant.
2. The Raila factor
The fact that Raila is a cofounder of the BBI and is at the same time the Luo kingpin, might have informed the taking of the function to Kisii.
Otherwise, he would have been seen as using his influence to force the function to be held in Kisumu, Luo Nyanza, which would not be a good image in a cosmopolitan region.
The fact that he co-founded the initiative is enough credit for Luo Nyanza, and there was a need for the other role to be played by another region so that the entire region would feel included.
3. As a show of inclusivity
To convince Kenyans that the BBI forums will be inclusive and not dominant, given that the Nyanza edition was the first one, entrusting it with a rather unlikely county was the best trick.
This could have been a way of warming up the hearts of Kenyans towards the BBI, and make them understand that it's not an initiative of the high communities but the entire country.
It was also to indicate that the realization of the push will require the involvement of every community, including the minority like the Kisiis, and not only the leading communities.
4. To camouflage Matiang'i's attendance
Also, the function might have been taken there to cover the attendance of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, whose presence is considered Uhuru's precense.
To show that the government fully backs the forums but at the same time protect Matiang'i from being seen as getting too involved in politics, attending the forum in his backyard was the best trick.
This is because if he were to follow a forum in another region, the CS who is already being watched by allies of Deputy President William Ruto will have openly demonstrated that he is getting involved in politics, which should not be the case among public servants.