Treasury Approves Ksh93.7M Budget For BBI Signatures Verification

The National Treasury on Thursday, December 18 approved Kshh93.7 million budget for the verification of Building Bridges Initiative signatures.

According to reports by the Star, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani and managers from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) arrived at the figure after days of negotiations.

“The agreement was that they use what is available for them to move forward since the request falls within their constitutional mandate,” the publication quoted an official from the electoral body.

IEBC had initially asked for Ksh241 million funding from the treasury to review the signatures an amount that the BBI secretariat claim is too much.

BBI signature collection coordinators from Rift Valley region submit the booklets. Photo/Courtesy

The commission had indicated it would take about 85 days to verify the signatures if their request for Sh241 million was heeded to.

BBI national secretariat co-chair Dennis Waweru claimed that the exercise can be conducted with as low as Ksh1 million especially now that technology can be applied to fast-track the process.

“Sh241 million is too much. This is an exercise that can be done using very minimal resources. We can even do it with just Sh1 million,” he said.

The secretariat has also questioned why the commission was discussing its budget details in public.

“This is too much money for such an exercise, they are doing so in public to whip up emotions,” said BBI secretariat official.

The commission said the money was to be used to hire and train clerks who will verify the signatures.

President Uhuru Kenyatta signing the BBI report at KICC on November 22, 2020. Photo/Courtesy

The IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati had decried lack of funds to verify the 4.4 million signatures submitted by the BBI secretariat.

“If we get more money, we will hire more clerks,” Chebukati said on Monday.

The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, can only be approved in a referendum after it is backed by one million signatures.

If the one million signature threshold is met, the commission is expected to hand over the bill to the 47 county assemblies.

County assemblies will be required to communicate their decision on the bill within 90 days of submission by the IEBC.

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