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IEBC: More than three million Kenyans support BBI

By Jael Mboga | February 22nd 2021 at 21:06:54 GMT +0300

Some of the 400 data clerks sworn in on 30/12/20 during the IEBC BBI Supporters Verification Exercise at the Bomas of Kenya. [Emmanuel Mochoge, Standard]

The national polls agency has stated that more than three million Kenyans support the Building Bridges Initiative.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Monday released a statement saying 3,188,001 Kenyans’ signatures were verified to support the BBI.

Only one voter rejected the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, according to the IEBC statement.

On December 10, 2020, the commission received signatures from the BBI promoters and in accordance with the constitution, set out on the journey to verify whether the initiative is supported by Kenyans.

An interim report based on 1,715,386 records verified as of January 19, 2021, established that the initiative was supported by 1,140,845 registered voters.

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This formed the basis of transmission of the draft Bill to each of the 47 county assemblies on January 26, 2021.

At the completion of the exercise on February 18, 2021, the IEBC captured all submitted records of supporters totaling 4,352,037, which were subjected to verification.

This involved checking the completeness and validity of the records, elimination of duplicate records and matching clean records with the register of voters.

From the verification exercise, 456,079 supporters were found to appear more than once while 31,829 records had incomplete details such as invalid names or missing ID numbers.

The next one week will be crucial if the process to amend the Constitution through a popular initiative is to move to the next step, proponents of the BBI have said.

Eleven county assemblies have so far passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, with at least 20 counties lining up the Bill for debate this week.

Siaya was the first county to approve the Bill, followed in quick succession by Kisumu, Homa Bay and Busia. Other counties that have passed it include Nairobi, Kajiado, West Pokot, Vihiga, Laikipia, Kisii and Trans Nzoia.

BBI proponents say they are confident of getting 24 counties, the number needed to meet the legal threshold and move the Bill to the National Assembly.

The push to amend the Constitution reaches a crucial stage tomorrow as 21 counties debate the 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.

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.

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.


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