The secretariat of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has given the electoral agency 16 days to complete the verification of the signatures necessary for a referendum.

The secretariat says it submitted 4.4 million signatures to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on December 10, 2020, as required by the law.

It added that slightly more than 540,000 signatures had been verified by the end of last week.

A million signatures are required for the country to go into a referendum and the IEBC says it needs 40 days to give a confirmation report.

BBI Secretariat co-chairman Junet Mohamed questioned the pace at which the signatures are being verified, adding, the exercise stalled on Monday due to poor network connectivity at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.

“The biggest problem the BBI faces is the electoral commission,” the Suba East MP said during a meeting of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Jubilee youth convened by Mr. Raila Odinga at Ufungamano House, Nairobi, yesterday.

“We handed the IEBC the signatures nearly a month ago and there is nothing to show for it. The exercise must be completed before the end of January. IEBC bosses surely know how Issack Hassan and his team left the commission,” he said, referring to protests by Mr. Odinga and his supporters that saw then IEBC chairman Hassan resign in 2016.

Sabotaging BBI

The lawmaker accused IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and other officials of “being part of the scheme that is sabotaging BBI”.

He said: “Let the commission be reminded that we’re not tired. We’re ready to kick them out if the need arises.”
The meeting was also attended by Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, Embakasi West MP Babu Owino, and BBI Secretariat co-chairman Dennis Waweru.

Mr. Odinga and Mr. Kamanda did not comment on the issue.

The two, however, told the youth to be careful and see-through “lies being spewed by a section of the political class about the BBI”.

Mr. Odinga hinted at the possibility of the Jubilee faction allied to President Kenyatta forming an alliance ahead of the 2022 General Election.

At the Jubilee party headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya said the parliamentary leadership has started laying the ground for the implementation of the report once the signatures are verified.

“I want to tell Kenyans that Jubilee is preparing for the next session of Parliament,” Mr Kimunya said.

“It is not just about the laws. We anticipate that IEBC will complete the exercise and the report will be endorsed by county assemblies.”

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