BBI process is people driven, secretariat says

Building Bridges Secretariat and a section of Jubilee Party and ODM Members of Parliament at a press conference.[Samson Wire, Standard]


Promoters of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) have instructed their lawyers to file an appeal at the Court of Appeal next week and exuded confidence of success, adding that they believe the process is people driven.


BBI Secretariat co-chairmen Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru described the ruling as more focused on the taskforce and deliberately ignored the BBI Secretariat as the promoters of the Bill.

"The judges stopped the President who is not a promoter of the BBI Bill. We assure Kenyans that we shall continue to promote the constitutional amendment Bill until it is ratified by Kenyans," said Junet.

Yesterday, the secretariat released a list of stakeholders, meetings and number of written submissions that cumulatively helped build the BBI Bill that the courts declared unconstitutional.

They explained that before the Bill came into being, the 14 member BBI Taskforce led by the late Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji engaged deeply and widely including meeting over 400 elected leaders, present and past, prominent local voices from the community and youth and and the 755 handwritten submissions during public forums in the counties

They said the Haji-led taskforce received presentations from 123 individuals representing major institutions, including constitutional bodies and major stakeholders in the civil and private sector spaces and 261 individuals and organisations who emailed memoranda.

"Due care was taken to ensure that the face of Kenya was captured in this process: The Taskforce consulted more than 7,000 citizens from all ethnic groups, genders, cultural and religious practices and different social and economic sectors," read their statement.

The BBI secretariat said details of all individuals and groups that participated either in person or through
written memoranda are at pages 134 to 154 of the taskforce report.

And to prove further wide consultation, the team said the BBI Steering committee was subsequently appointed to validate the report of the taskforce and once again met Kenyans from all walks of life and those who contributed were captured in pages 161 to 173 of the Steering Committee’s Report.

"The validation exercise was conducted through the following content and report implementation, national Stakeholder Validation Fora. The Steering Committee held a total of 93 stakeholder consultation meetings at the KICC, Laico Regency hotel and at its offices in Nairobi," the statement added.

The foras, they explained, were attended by representatives from civil society, faith-based organisations, women’s groups, youth groups, persons with disability (PWD) groups, cultural leaders and Government and regional meetings took place across the country to discuss and validate the taskforce report.

On Friday, Junet said they respect the High Court's decision, but they do not agree with it and they will explore all options to ensure people-driven review of the 2010 Constitution.

"As law abiding leaders, we respect the decision of the court. But we don’t agree with it. Consequently, we are setting up a legal team to look into and appeal the ruling. We assure all Kenyans who believe in the BBI and it’s promise, not to give up. It’s is not over yet. We will fight to the bitter end for that dream to be realised," said Junet.

Waweru said the BBI process was people driven and Kenyans are will to change the Constitution to improve governance and take more resources to the grassroots. "The proposed additional 70 constituencies will ensure more money is taken to the grassroots and improve the economic situation across the country. The hiccup encountered at the High Court will be over soon," he assured Kenyans.

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