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Verification of 1.3m signatures clears way for referendum Bill

By Moses Nyamori | January 22nd 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Some of the 400 sworn data clerks in their workstations during the BBI Supporters Verification Exercise held at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on 30th December 2020. [Emmanuel Mochoge, Standard]

Verified signatures in support of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 have surpassed the required one million mark.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday posted on its website a list of 1.33 million verified signatures, suggesting that the Bill was now destined to the 47 county assemblies for debate before the country can go for the planned referendum.

According to Article 257 of the Constitution, once the electoral commission is satisfied that the initiative has the backing of at least one million registered voters, it shall proceed to submit the draft Bill to each of the 47 counties for consideration within three months.

If it gets the approval of at least 24 counties, the Bill shall be introduced in the National Assembly and Senate.

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The commission announced that the verification was ongoing as their clerks were still poring over at least 4.4 million signatures submitted by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat co-chairs Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said a full list of verified supporters of the initiative would be published at the end of the exercise.

“The Commission would like to clarify that the data capture and verification process is still going on as planned and should any supporter miss their name in the interim list, then it is still at verification stage,” said Mr Chebukati in a public notice.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati. [File, Elvis Ogina,Standard] .

The commission asked the public to scrutinise the list and raise an objection if their signatures are used without their consent.

In preparation of an interim report, the agency undertook data cleaning by removing incomplete records that included missing signatures, ID numbers and names as well as duplicates.

“Further, the Commission has uploaded a list of verified supporters. Anyone who has been captured as a supporter without their consent can report to the Commission by writing to the Acting Commission Secretary/CEO indicating their objections,” stated the notice.

ODM leader Raila Odinga has since heightened BBI popularisation campaigns.


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