Kenya: Uhuru, Raila Names Missing From Bbi Signatures List

21 January 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga are among the estimated three million names missing from those verified as having backed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has, however, described the list as an interim report, with the possibility of another list being published with some more names.

"The commission would like to clarify that the data capture and verification process is still going on as planned and, should any supporter miss their name in the interim list, then it is still in the verification stage. A full list of supporters shall be published at the end of the exercise, " Mr Chebukati said in a statement on Thursday after Kenyans noticed the bigwigs' names missing from the list.

Other BBI backers' names missing include Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, trade unionist Francis Atwoli, Jubilee secretary General Raphael Tuju and vocal ruling party vice chairman David Murathe.

The lists published online are in two folders: One 15,152 pages long, and the other 5,266 pages long.

With 20,418 pages of people's data with each page having an average of 65 names, the IEBC has published a total of 1.327 million names.

From the 4.4 million signatures the BBI team presented, the commission has weeded out a staggering three million names from the list.

Missing signatures

"The commission undertook data cleaning by removing incomplete records, which include missing signatures, identification numbers and names, as well as duplicates and those not in the register of voters," IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a statement.

The publishing of the list on Thursday gives an opportunity to those that suspect that their names were included in the list of those backing the BBI Bill without their consent.

If that is so, you have until Monday, January 25, to check the list published online and have them expunge your name as the country gears towards a BBI referendum mid this year.

The commission is required by law to publish the names of those that constitutional amendment promoters -- just like the BBI -- say back their Bill to allow those whose names have been erroneously included to indicate their objections.

"Anyone who has been captured as a BBI Constitutional Amendment Bill supporter without their consent can report to the commission by sending a duly signed objection letter either scanned and emailed to or dropped at the IEBC offices, Anniversary Towers, Nairobi, 7th floor, latest by 5pm on Monday, January 25, 2021," Mr Chebukati said.

The publishing of the list and the subsequent objection window means the journey to the BBI referendum is inching closer with the IEBC expected to verify whether those that remain after names have been expunged after the objection period, are at least a million registered voters.

For the Bill to move to the next stage -- debate and approval by each of the 47 county assemblies -- IEBC has to determine that at least one million of the people the BBI team said supported the document are in the commission's database as registered voters.

Verification of signatures

In the Dr Ekuru Aukot-led Punguza Mzigo case, the commission also published online the full list of the 1.4 million the team said supported the initiative and gave Kenyans 21 days to verify that their names were not listed in error if they had not appended their signatures.

After the verification of signatures, the IEBC will submit the Bill to the 47 county assemblies and the regional Houses will have three months within which to consider the Bill.

If more than half (24) pass the Bill, it will be introduced to the Senate and the National Assembly.

Once the President passes his message to the IEBC to hold a referendum on the receipt of the Bill from Parliament, the commission has 90 days within which to hold a referendum.

IEBC had budgeted Sh93 million for the verification, with each of the 60 clerks the commission hired expected to earn Sh1,200 per day for a maximum of 40 days.

While the IEBC has no set timelines in law within which to complete the verification, the agency had on December 31 set itself a 40-day deadline, which ends on February 9.

ODM leader Raila Odinga wants the process to go on as fast as possible.

"After the IEBC has verified signatures, we will go to the county assemblies. And we hope that we can get 24 county assemblies to approve within one week. And, thereafter, we will go to Parliament. From there, we will go to the people of Kenya," Mr Odinga explained recently.

He went on: "Now, these other people should say their stand. And then the people of Kenya will decide. And whatever they decide, we will accept it. That is how democracy works."

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