‘Super Tuesday’ for BBI as 21 counties vote on Bill

Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi (right) arrives in Kimana town, Kajiado County, to drum up support for the BBI Bill. With him is Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

The push to amend the Constitution reaches a crucial stage tomorrow as 21 counties debate the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.

The day’s events are expected to culminate in what proponents are calling ‘Super Tuesday’.

There are indications that a majority of these 21 counties will pass the Bill, helping it cruise past the 24 county threshold required to give the document the impetus needed for the next stage.

Four Nyanza and Western counties that are yet to pass the Bill were yesterday gearing up to debate and pass it tomorrow.

In Nyanza, Migori County Assembly Majority Leader Ken Ouma said members were ready to debate the Bill and pass it after completing public participation.

“The report will be our key business on Tuesday,” he said.

In Nyamira, ward representatives are set to conduct public participation in Borabu, Nyamira North, Nyamira South, Manga and Masaba North today.

H.E. Hon. Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya(R) Governor Kakamega County and Chairperson Council Of Governors. [File, Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard}

In Kakamega, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya is set to meet MCAs for a retreat in Kisumu today to petition them to pass the Bill.

Majority Leader in the assembly, Joel Ongoro, confirmed that the MCAs are scheduled to meet the county executive, and BBI is part of the agenda

Plans are also afoot in Bungoma County to pass the Bill.

Vihiga, Busia, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kisii and Siaya counties in Western and Nyanza, where the region’s top political leaders back the BBI, have since passed the proposed law.

At the Coast, the six county assemblies are expected to overwhelmingly pass the Bill tomorrow.

Leaders in Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Lamu have in the past week held a series of forums with the public as they sensitised residents on the BBI Bill.

Yesterday, Tana River County Assembly Majority Leader Ibrahim Adamoh said public hearings in the county would be conducted on Thursday in the three sub-counties.

Public hearings

In Lamu, all 18 MCAs endorsed the BBI Bill when it was tabled in the assembly, and the report on public participation is expected to be tabled before the House tomorrow.

And in the Rift Valley, public hearings across Nakuru County were completed last week and the law review proposal is likely to be tabled in the assembly on Tuesday.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui expressed optimism that the Bill would be approved by all pending county assemblies in the region.

Samburu Assembly Speaker Solomon Lempere said the Bill would be tabled today.

So far, 11 county assemblies have passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with only one shooting it down.

The Bill has been approved in Nairobi, Vihiga, Laikipia, Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Busia, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Kajiado and Kisii. Baringo voted to oppose the Bill.

However, counties in the North Rift are not in a rush to debate the Bill. Although two assemblies in the region (West Pokot and Trans Nzoia) passed the Bill last week, three others (Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet) are yet to debate it.

County assemblies from the Mt Kenya region have taken a different approach in debating the proposal, but they may eventually all deliberate on it by the end of the month.

Garissa is expected to conduct public participation today, while Mandera has slated public participation for Thursday.

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021