, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – CORD Principals are on Monday expected to kickoff their journey to amend the Constitution when they lead civil society and religious leaders to formally present Okoa Kenya Referendum Draft Bill and the signatures to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The electoral body will then be expected to verify the signatures to certify that the initiative is supported by at least one million voters, a process that will take at least two to three months.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, ex Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula will then converge at Masinde Gardens in Mathare 4A where they are expected to address a post signature presentation rally.
Okoa Kenya Committee of Experts chairman Paul Mwangi said they have collected 1.4 million signatures in support of the referendum.
Article 257 of the Constitution of Kenya requires that for the law to be amended by popular initiative, those seeking to amend it must first collect a million signatures of registered voters which they will hand over to IEBC together with a draft Bill for verification.
Should the commission be satisfied that the initiative meets the constitutional requirements, it will then submit the draft Bill to the 47 county assemblies for consideration. This should be within three months from the date of submission.
If the National Assembly approves the draft Bill within three months after the date the Bill was sent to the House, the Constitution requires that the “the Speaker of the Assembly shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the President, with a certificate that the Assembly has approved it for assent in accordance with Article 255 (4) and (5) of the Kenyan Constitution.”
The Okoa Kenya Movement, which includes civil society groups and CORD, through the Bill are pushing for a raft of amendments to the Constitution which will see devolution of more money and roles to the counties, a reform of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the strengthening of election management, land and inclusivity.
The opposition resorted to the initiative after the government ignored their calls for dialogue and cautionary messages.