The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has okayed the signature collection format presented to it by the BBI secretariat.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Tuesday wrote to BBI co-chairpersons Junet Mohamed (Suna East MP) and Dennis Waweru (former Dagoretti MP) informing them of the development.
The commission has not only okayed the form but has also given recommendations, directing signatories to fill in details in all the places for easier voter verification.
“The commission takes note of your request for guidance as well as your approval of your proposed format and provides you the approved format/ template that should be used for the collection of signatures,” the letter reads party.
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It adds: “To enable voter verification process, and completeness of voter supporters’ records, all the fields in the said format or template should be duly filled as provided.”
The approved form is divided into nine fields which require signatories to fill in their details. Some of the data sets required in the form include: Name, ID/Passport number, county, constituency, county assembly ward, polling station, mobile number, email address and signature or thumbprint.
However, to grab and fill in the form; one needs to have read the BBI proposals and conformed to the declaration provided.
It reads: “We the undersigned registered voters in the Republic of Kenya and in exercise of sovereign powers, having read and understood the contents of the BBI Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020, do hereby consent to the proposal to amend the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, through popular initiative envisaged under article 255 and 257 of the Constitution.”
The development comes under the backdrop of mixed reactions where Catholic and Muslim clerics have trashed the report saying it will not undo the gains under the 2010 Constitution. The clerics added their voice joining a group of other dissenters like Deputy President William Ruto and his allies, who push for a non-contested referendum.
The DP and his allies softened the two-year stand where they opposed the BBI and came down calling for a consensus for amendments on some proposals they deemed unconstitutional.
But ODM Leader Raila Odinga yesterday gave an opposing opinion insisting that a non-contested referendum is not a possibility in any system of governance. He lashed at those calling for consensus saying it would be needless to go for the plebiscite having struck a middle ground.
“There must be an end to the collection of views. We have had two years collecting views. We must now take the process further all the way to the referendum. We are going to launch the collection of signatures this week,” said Raila.
“World over, a referendum is contested so that those who are supporting it have a right just like those who are opposing it. We are not forcing anybody to support it. We are a democratic country,” he added. He spoke after meeting a contingent of leaders from the Mt Kenya region.
ODM legislators and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies have always accused those calling for changes for failing to bale their requests before the taskforce only to resurface later with a raft of demands.
The BBI secretariat comprising Junet, Waweru, Janet Ong’era (Kisii) and Sarah Kilemi also revealed the plan to launch the signature collection drive on Wednesday, November 25.
“We now wish to inform all Kenyans that we shall launch the collection of signatures as it is required by law for the Bill tomorrow. The process will be led by the president and former Prime Minister Raila,” Waweru said.
The exercise was suspended last week as the secretariat cited delay in the publication of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020. However, a different twist to the story on the intrigues leading to the delay of exercise revealed that President Kenyatta met DP Ruto before the decision was made.