The National Assembly (NA) Speaker, Justin Muturi has joined those calling for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report to be subjected to a referendum instead of going through amendments by Parliament.
Speaking in Migori County on Sunday, Muturi argued that the report was ‘a two gentlemen’s agreement that must be allowed to be implemented as per the wishes of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader, Raila Odinga.’
“The report has no constitutional road map that can make it face amendments by parliamentarians on the floor of the house. This was an initiative of two gentlemen and must be allowed to be implemented according to their will,” said Mr. Muturi amid cheers and ululation from a crowd in Uriri Constituency.
The Speaker made the remarks while presiding over a joint funds drive for Voice of Hope Uriri SDA and St. Mary’s Catholic Churches.
Muturi made his stand on the BBI after a host of pro-referendum legislators led by National Assembly Leader of Minority and ODM party National Chairman, John Mbadi accused a clique of politicians allied to Deputy President, William Ruto of being bent on hijacking and mutilating the report.
He said the politicians from the Tanga Tanga faction of Jubilee Party were out to mutilate the report on the floor to suit their political interests or kill it on the floor for lack of parliamentary quorum to pass it.
Mbadi said that it has never happened and will never happen that parliament can marshal a two-third majority votes to pass a bill in the August House.
“The closest time we almost realised this number was when Ugenya Member of Parliament brought a bill on the floor to change the date of the General Election but which also flopped miserably. So nobody should cheat Kenyans that BBI report can be addressed in Parliament other than through a referendum,” said Mbadi.
Others who rallied their support behind a referendum were Uriri MP, Mark Nyamita, the Migori Senator, Ochillo Ayacko, the Nyamira Senator, Okong’o Omogeni, and the Westland’s MP, Tim Wanyonyi.
The Kuria East MP, Maisori Kitayama said he supported the report but doubted whether it was the original version of the report Kenyans expected.
“We Kuria people feel we have been shortchanged because the released report has not carried the important views we gave when the team came to Migori especially our call to have our own County,” said Kitayama, a Jubilee MP allied to Ruto.
Muturi and the legislator asked Kenyans to thoroughly read the report and make their own judgments when the time comes for them to give a verdict in a referendum.
By George Agimba