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BBI surpasses the 24 County Threshold 

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill is on the road to the referendum after 15 counties today voted for it thereby surpassing the required minimum number of 24  Counties for it to proceed to the National Assembly and the Senate.

            More than half of the 47 county assemblies have passed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill, and have endorsed a bill enabling it to meet the constitutional threshold required for it to proceed to Parliament in the road to a national referendum.

            At least 15 county assemblies simultaneously passed the Bill today raising the tally to 29 counties that have so far endorsed the bill.

            The county assemblies that today approved the Bill include Makueni, Kitui, Narok, Kakamega, Mombasa, Bungoma, Nyamira, Taita Taveta and Murang’a, Machakos, Nyeri, Lamu, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga, Tharaka Nithi and Garissa.

            Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Busia, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Kajiado, Kisii, Nairobi, Vihiga, Laikipia and Samburu endorsed the bill last week with only Baringo County Assembly voting to reject the Bill.

            Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is championing for the Constitutional Amendment Bill alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta exuded confidence that by what was dubbed “Super Tuesday” the Bill would have received the support of 24 Counties.

            Last week the BBI secretariat co-chair Dennis Waweru exuded confidence that at least 30 counties would have approved the bill by end of this week so that the process moves to Parliament.

            “Once we clock the 24 counties, we shall move to Parliament without further delay without necessarily waiting for all the 47 Assemblies to consider the bill,” the former Dagoretti South MP said.

            The Constitution requires that a constitutional amendment through the popular initiative must be approved by at least 24 county assemblies before the bill is taken to a referendum irrespective of the outcome at the Senate and the National Assembly. 

            There was drama earlier today as Nyandarua County Assembly debated on BBI in darkness.

            The darkness offered an opportunity for the MCAs to settle power scores with factions in the Assembly accusing each other of sabotaging the sitting.

            The blackout that lasted for a period of 15 minutes resulted in an unruly state as the acting Speaker Zachary Njeru tried to control the house. The MCAs however unanimously passed the Bill.

            Members of Murang’a County Assembly on Tuesday unanimously   voted for constitutional amendment Bill 2020 as proposed in the BBI report.

            All the 53 MCAs who were present in the assembly approved the Bill leaving the task to the speaker who will now write the speakers of both the National assembly and the Senate indicating the verdict of the local assembly.

            Majority of MCAs who contributed about the report which was tabled by Wangu MCA Isaac Kamote Waciama lauded the proposals in the Bill saying more funds will unlock development in counties.

            Narok County Assembly has entered in the list of the counties that have endorsed Building Bridges Initiative with all the 47 members agreeing unanimously to pass the document.

            The bill that was tabled in the house by the Justice and Legal committee chairperson Mr. Patrick Sossio was passed after a two-hour debate where all members who stood to contribute to the motion supported its approval.

            Nominated MCA Ms. Mary Simati said the house was in agreement because the public had asked them to pass it during the public participation forums held a day earlier.

            “We will be denying the residents of this county their right if we fail to pass this document. All the six public participations held in the six sub counties had the residents agreeing on the document,” she said.

            Meanwhile Water and sanitation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has called on the church leaders to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as the flock stands to reap much from the reforms.

            Kariuki said the church was an integral organ that cannot be ignored and hence challenged religious leaders to be at the fore front in championing for the support of the recommendations contained in the report that is now under debate in the County Assemblies.

            While pointing an accusing finger at a section of leaders opposed to the BBI, the CS regretted that a majority of Kenyans had been misled on the contents of the documents.

            “BBI is all about bringing harmony amongst us, fighting corruption and ensuring equity for posterity. The clergy needs to read and understand this first before the passing this document.

            Speaking in Ol-Kalou town when she had a consultative meeting with officials of the Nyandarua County Inter-Faith Council under the leadership of Bishop Jossam Kariuki, the CS called on the political leaders to hold more such forums to avert propagandas.

by KNA team 

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