Kenya: Collection of 1 Million Signatures to Follow After BBI Launch

27 October 2020

Nairobi — Following the formal launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, the next steps for its proponents will be the collection of 1 million signatures needed to prepare Kenyans as they head to a referendum.

The signatures are then expected to be delivered to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) together with the draft BBI Bill for verification.

The BBI Bill will then be sent to all the 47 county assemblies.

If a county assembly approves the draft Bill, the speaker shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it.

If the draft Bill has been approved by a majority of the county assemblies, it shall be introduced in Parliament without delay.

If a majority of the members of each House pass the Bill, it shall be sent to the President for assent.

But before then, it remains unclear whether the ongoing national debate about the document will culminate in yet another amendment- which analysts say can be introduced in Parliament.

Kenya's top leaders-President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga have urged Kenyans to read and understand the BBI report before making a decision.

"Let Kenyans now read the report and decide," Kenyatta said, "this is a good report that is not about any specific individual. It is a document for prosperity."

Odinga too called on Kenyans to take part in a "national conversation so as to understand the document."

"BBI is not about myself and Kenyatta," Odinda said, dismissed claims by a section of leaders led by Ruto that BBI is about Kenyatta becoming Prime Minister and Odinga as president.

Ruto has poked holes in the report, called for an "inclusive conversation to ensure views of all Kenyans are accommodated."

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