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Duale calls for parliamentary initiative to salvage BBI

Garissa Township Member of Parliament (MP), Aden Duale, has asked political parties in Kenya to unite and salvage the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill through parliamentary initiative.

Speaking at a fundraising event in Garissa town, Duale noted that there is not enough time to wait for the ruling of the Court of Appeal and possibly another appeal at the Supreme Court to pave way for the referendum before the 2022 General Elections.

The Garissa Township MP, however, said that his support for BBI is for as long as counties in the northeastern region do not lose constituencies.

“We don’t have a problem with BBI if we don’t lose Ijaara and Wajir South constituencies. I want to ask major political parties to unite because the Constitution allows amendment by Parliament, let the MPs pass the clauses that do not require a referendum as we wait for directions from the courts,” Duale said.

Duale was among 83 MPs who voted against the BBI Bill in parliament earlier this month.

With the move to amend the Constitution through a parliamentary initiative now receiving backing from National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, the proponents of the initiative describe it as a win-win process that will not divide Kenyans through a highly charged referendum.

It is a plot to bypass the referendum, which is considered a volatile divisive political process in constitutional amendments— with the courts putting a pause on the BBI referendum drive—the anticipated litigation process is assumed to affect the referendum timelines with the General Elections beckoning in 2022.

“For a parliamentary initiative, once the Bill is published, it requires 90 days for the public to participate. Those who want to go this route I will give them my support, however, they must achieve two-thirds support from other members,” Muturi stated after a church service in Embu

A group of senators and MPs are plotting a parliamentary takeover of the constitution review exercise and have the supreme law amended on clauses that do not require a referendum.

The BBI Bill faced a blow after the five Judge-bench High Court ruling that termed the whole process as unconstitutional, null and void.

By Erick Kyalo

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