MPs Set Date to Start Collecting Signatures for BBI Referendum

Members of Parliament allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga to begin collecting signatures to kick-start the process of changing the constitution through Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Speaking during a church service at Friends Church Quakers Kabete in Westlands Constituency on Sunday, November 1, the lawmakers said they will start collecting the one million signatures as from Monday, November 2.

The MPs, mainly drawn from Nairobi County, also hit out at leaders calling for further consensus building on the BBI report saying that the window to amend the report had been closed.

Led by nominated MP Maina Kamanda, they called on Kenyans to be ready for a referendum adding that they should ignore leaders giving misleading information on the contents of BBI.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris (Center), Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch (Right) and Nominated MP Maina Kamanda (Left) during a church service at Friends Church Quakers Kabete in Westlands Constituency on Sunday, November 1. Photo/Courtesy

“From Monday we shall start collecting signatures for BBI. I am sure in Nairobi alone we can collect up to one million signature required,” Kamanda said.

MPs present at the church service were Timothy Wanyonyi (Westlands), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu), George Aladwa (Makadara), Yusuf Hassan (Kamakunji), Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Esther Passaris (Nairobi MP), TJ Kajwang (Ruaraka), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South), Charles Kanyi (Starehe) and Bernard Okoth (Kibra).

Deputy President William Ruto and Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi have called on President Uhuru and his handshake partner, Raila to reopen another widow of consensus in order to have contentious sections of the document relooked with the aim of increasing its acceptability among all Kenyans.

During his empowerment meeting in Muranga on Friday, October 30, DP Ruto accused ODM leaders of seeking a non-consensus BBI referendum in order to steal public funds.

“I want to tell Kenyans that they are some elements who want a contested referendum so that they can steal public funds. I want them to know that Kenyans can agree on this document through consensus and we do not need a referendum that will cost billions,” said Ruto.

Nominated MP Maina Kamanda handing over a copy of BBI report document to a clergy during a church service at Friends Church Quakers Kabete in Westlands Constituency on Sunday, November 1. Photo/Courtesy

The DP however denied reports that he is opposed to the document insisting that he is only advocating for an inclusive debate on key issues he outlined at the Bomas of Kenya when the report was unveiled on Monday, October 26.

“As a leader we do not want to sacrifice aspirations of Kenyans on the altar of leaders sharing posts. Instead we want a document which encompasses all issues related to the common mwananchi which must be included through a consensus,” said Ruto.

Ruto also told off Raila urging him not chest thump but ensure Kenyans are involved through consensus so that the document doesn’t divide the nation.

“I want to urge Ondinga to stop chest thumping that this document must be adopted by Kenyans and instead seek consensus as advised by the president,” DP Ruto added.

However, ODM leaders led by party chairman John Mbadi remain adamant that the unveiled report is final daring Ruto to launch his ‘NO’ campaign.

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