Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday, November 25 skipped the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) signaturesollection launch held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga led launch the collection of over one million signatures to support proposals to amend the 2010 Constitution through the BBI process.
Conspicuously missing from the programme line up is Deputy President William Ruto who is not among the leaders lined up to speak during the launch of the referendum Bill and national signature collection drive.
The DP’s seat remained vacant, and placed next to that of President Uhuru Kenyatta, proof that he may have been invited.
The event, which was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., kicked off with the singing of the National anthem moments after Uhuru’s arrival.
The former Prime Minister Raila Odinga invited President Uhuru to give his speech, a break from the tradition where the Deputy President would invite the President.
The president also presented the BBI booklets to the regional coordinators.
Also in attendance was Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi who has been advocating for a consensus building.
The initial cancellation of the exercise last Thursday was highly celebrated by the DP’s camp signaling that the two handshake partners were giving in to pressure to amend the report before it is submitted to a referendum.
According to the BBI Secretariat co-chairs by Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru, the team hopes to collect at least 4 million signatures, even though only 1 million signatures of registered voters verified by IEBC are required to move the process to the county assemblies.
According to reports, minimal changes have been made to the BBI report despite calls for consensus building.
On Tuesday, November 24, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) approved a sample form that will be used in collection of signatures for registered voters supporting the bill.
Forms include columns for signatories’ names, identity card or passport numbers, county of residence as well as constituency and county assembly ward.
Those signing in support of the BBI-driven proposal to amend the constitution will have to indicate their polling stations, mobile phone numbers, email address before appending their signatures.