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Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni hands over BBI Bill to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka on April 26, 2021.

BBI

ODM wants Parliament to pass BBI bill without alteration

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27- Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party is now rooting for the passage of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill in its entirety without any changes.

In a statement, the party Chairman John Mbadi called on Members of Parliament to align with party position.

Mbadi also urged Kenyans to pass the bill once it is subjected to a referendum saying it is the only solution to Kenya’s perennial social, economic and political problems.

“I urge our members to align themselves accordingly. It is the party’s position that Parliament should pass the Bill as it is. I also appeal to our members and supporters out there to prepare to vote for the Bill during the referendum,” Mbadi stated ahead of the tabling of the Bill in the National Assembly.

Parliament is on Wednesday set to commence a two- day special sittings to begin debate on the BBI Bill and subsequently take a vote on its fate.

Leaders across the political divide are however, split on some proposals contained in the Bill such as the creation of 70 more constituencies with some calling for amendments.

“As a party, we may not have gotten everything we wished for, in fact, no party has got everything they wished for but there are some very important gains in the BBI that we would not want to throw out just because we did not get everything,” said Mbadi.

The report was officially handed over to Speakers of the bicameral Parliament on Monday setting the stage for its debate before the Bill is ultimately subjected to a national referendum.

“Pursuant to the provisions of the Standing Order 29(3) of the National Assembly, it is notified for the information of the members of the National Assembly and the general public that the special sitting of the National Assembly shall be held on Wednesday and Thursday,” Muturi said.

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The sittings will be conducted both in the morning starting at 10.00am and in the afternoon at 2.30pm.

The submission of the report has been a culmination of infighting among members of the Joint National Assembly and the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee who were divided as to whether there is need to further amend the report or not when it is finally tabled on the floor of both Houses.

The debate of the Bill by the bicameral Parliament will provide an opportunity for political theatrics after some members of the joint committee differed on the constitutionality of some of the proposals contained in the Bill notably the distribution of the proposed 70 new Constituencies.

Whereas some members opined that it is solely the prerogative of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the delimitation of boundaries exercise that would ultimately decide on which regions should be given more constituencies, other members held contrary views.

While the proponents of the BBI Bill are optimistic that the document will be subjected to a referendum by July latest August 2021, they will first have to wait for a High Court ruling that barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting the exercise to be vacated.

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