NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Linda Katiba lobby and Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) are among 24 groups listed to appear before a joint National Assembly and Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee as it resumes public hearings on the Building Bridges Initiative Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020 on Wednesday.
Linda Katiba is a lobby group bringing together a section of politicians and constitutional experts including former Constitution Affair Minister Martha Karua who are opposed to the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill.
The representations by the IEBC will be the highlight of the day because they are the institution charged with handling the referendum which is expected around June this year.
The poll agency is also expected to outline its budget for the referendum after releasing the actual dates.
KNBS who is the custodian of the country population data, will seek to address concerns surrounding distribution of the 70 additional parliamentary seats proposed by the BBI is turning into a major issue threatening public acceptance of the document.
The drafters of the BBI Bill considered the county population as the basis of dishing out the constituencies. But other quarters including the Orange Democratic Movement and the Kenya Pastoralist Parliament Group want the constituency’s population to carry the day in any allocation formula.
The proposed schedule for public hearing also lists Wiper Democratic Movement, Maendeleo Chapchap, Ufungamano Forum, African Women Studies Centre – UoN, Women Political Alliance, Kenya Section of the International Commission of Jurists and Kenya Law Reform Commission among groups expected to make oral submissions on the Bill.
Others include GEMA Cultural Association, The Mau Mau War Veterans, Youth 4 BBI, Kenya Voters Alliance, Kenya University Students Organization, Mt Kenya Colleges and Universities Students Association, Pan African Leadership Forum, Tung’arishe Kenya, Youth Serving Organisations Consortium, Nakuru Pamoja Initiative, Lifeguard Kenya and Bernard Mwanzia
House Clerks Micheal Sialai and Jeremiah Nyegenye say the two committees of the National Assembly and the Senate will hold the public hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8am to 5pm.
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was published on November 25, 2020 and was concurrently tabled in the National Assembly and the Senate on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
The Bill seeks to amend Chapter Two of the Constitution to address regional integration, cohesion, shared prosperity and the centrality of the economy. The aspiration is to enhance Kenya’s standing and leadership in the region and to balance production and sharing.