President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga have agreed to block any amendments to the BBI Bill dealing blow to Deputy President William Ruto’s push for a consensus building.
According to the Star, the two handshake partners held a last-minute phone conversation on Tuesday, December 8 to save the BBI boat from sinking.
During the talks, Raila and Uhuru agreed to block any further changes to the report noting that bowing to DP Ruto’s demands could open window for more amendments from other people.
The two then gave a strict directive to the Building Bridges Initiative secretariat to submit the signatures together with the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 to the IEBC on Thursday, December 10.
The publication further reported that the two leaders were also worried that making further changes to an already-published bill could raise legal questions considering that signatures had already been collected based on the draft bill.
According to reports, there was a standoff at the BBI secretariat after ODM tried to push to reopen the Bill for amendments.
Raila’s team is said to have demanded a review of the formula for distribution of the proposed 70 new constituencies and appointment of IEBC commissioners by political parties.
However, ODM’s demands were rubbished by Uhuru’s wing eliciting a fierce exchange between the two partners.
Fearing a nasty break-up, Uhuru is said to have reached out to Raila to convince his team to accept the document without further amendments.
“The two leaders spoke on Tuesday and it was after their conversation that the secretariat was ordered to take the signatures to IEBC on Thursday,” a source told the Star.
Raila Odinga with the BBI secretariat. Image/CourtesyOn Wednesday, the BBI Secretariat confirmed that a deal was reached not to interfere with the document adding that they had booked an appointment with the IEBC to hand over the signatures.
“We would like to confirm that the Bill that was unveiled on November 25, the day we launched signature collection, will be part of the documents that will be submitted to the IEBC.”
“There shall be no changes on the bill by way of additions or subtractions and there is agreement on that.”
“The internal verification of the signatures has ended today (Wednesday) and we will submit the internally verified signatures in both manual and digital formats to IEBC tomorrow (Thursday),” BBI Secretariat co-chairman Dennis Waweru said.