NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 1 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday restated the agency to amend the Constitution (2010) in 2021 saying the proposed amendments will engender a just nation.
In his new year’s message, the Head of State asked Kenyans to embrace the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum process noting that it is a path that seeks to lay the country’s foundation for a more inclusive, equitable and prosperous country.
“The dawn of a New Year is not just a calendar event that marks the passage of time. It symbolizes transition, renewed hope, new opportunities and limitless possibilities. A New Year brings with it the chance for rebirth, renewal as well as restoration,” he said in a televised address.
He said efforts to re-build the nation require renewal of the mind and sheer boldness insisting that those who embrace the two values will indeed have good year.
“We cannot experience the ‘newness’ of a new year without a renewal of minds. I say so because you cannot seize the opportunities and limitless possibilities of 2021, if we are stuck in the mind-set of the old year 2020 and the previous years,” he said.
President Kenyatta who has been drumming up support for the BBI process since getting into a pact with ODM party Leader Raila Odinga on March 9, 2018, emphasized that a change of mindset by Kenyans would bring forth triumph in 2021.
“I urge every Kenyan to adjust their mind-set and to embrace the spirit of renewal and hope, possibilities, growth as well as triumph. For in each and every Kenyan lies unimaginable depth of greatness just waiting to come to the fore,” he said.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has already embarked on a signature verification exercise which will see 4.4 million signatures collected in support of the BBI referendum Bill scrutinized.
Only one million signatures are needed to set in motion the referendum process.
The BBI Secretariat is hopeful that Kenyans will get to cast their ballot latest by June on amending the Constitution.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati has however clarified that the Commission will be working with it’s own timeliness to ensure that the process does not have any glitches.
Once it completes the verification process of the signatures to ascertain whether those Kenyans who appended their signatures are registered voters, the Commission will transmit the Bill to all the 47 County Assemblies for consideration.
The devolved units will then have three months to debate it with only 24 units needed to have the Bill proceed to the bicameral Parliament for passage.
Once the National Assembly and the Senate ratify the Bill, it will be forwarded to President President Kenyatta for assent and afterwards to the electoral body which will start the preparations for the referendum.