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Inside plans to secure BBI win

POLITICS
By Roselyne Obala and Moses Nyamori | February 25th 2021

BBI secretariat chairperson Junet Mohammed.

Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat yesterday revealed plans to get the country to overwhelmingly back the proposed constitutional changes at the referendum.

According to the plan by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila, the country will be segmented into 10 regions. This will ensure every voter is reached, leading to a resounding win at the referendum.

BBI secretariat co-chairs Junet Mohammed and Dennis Waweru told a press conference yesterday that the team was in the process of identifying 10 top political leaders to spearhead campaigns in the regions.

Buoyed by the overwhelming endorsement of the BBI Bill by the county assemblies, the team seeks to recruit political leaders up to the grassroots level to push the campaigns in every village.

Junet, who is the National Assembly Minority Whip, said the team was ready to hit the ground running, adding that the outcome at the county assemblies was an indication that the country was ready to endorse the document at the ballot.

“We will embark on a vigorous campaign that is going to shake every corner of this country. We will reach every village in this country, talk to every man and woman, telling him or her why this document is good for the country. As you know, referendum is just like an election; we must go out there and campaign. We are prepared for the campaigns,” he said.

Expedite petition

Waweru told the court to read the mood of the country and expedite the petition before it so that the process can proceed to the people for their decision at the ballot.

“We beseech you to read the mood of the people, the spirit of BBI with its message of unity, inclusivity and more resources to the people. BBI being a popular initiative should be allowed to be subjected to approval of mwananchi,” said Waweru.

Yesterday, National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya disclosed that a technical team had already been appointed by the two speakers following the attainment of the threshold of 24 assemblies in support of the Bill.

By close of business yesterday, Speakers of 31 county assemblies out of the 41 that had passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 had already transmitted the certificates to the bicameral House leadership.

By last evening, 41 counties had endorsed the Bill.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ken Lusaka are in the process of forming a joint committee to look into the modalities of how the Bill will be introduced in the respective Houses.

Lusaka yesterday confirmed that they will give a clear road-map on the process on Friday as stipulated in Article 257 of the Constitution and the role of Parliament, which is ceremonial.

The action by the speakers seek to cure the lacuna in law on the procedure of introducing the Bill in both Houses in the absence of a referendum law. The speakers confirmed receiving over 29 certificates from the county assembly speakers, stating the resolutions of their Houses’ decision to endorse the Bill.

“We intend to form a joint committee that will look at the Bill, conduct public participation and present a joint report to the two Houses,” said Senate Minority Whip Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

The Makueni senator said the leadership of both Houses would provide clear guidelines.

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