A total of 1.14 million signatures supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been verified by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the commission announced on Tuesday.
This is out of the 4.4 million signatures that were submitted to the electoral body by the BBI secretariat on December 10, 2020.
“As at 19th January 2021, the Commission had been able to digitize 1,715,386 records which were subjected to verification exercise involving completeness and validity checks of the individual records; elimination of duplicate records; and finally matching the clean records with the register of voters, ” said Wafula Chebukati, the IEBC Chairman.
“…The verification exercise confirmed that the initiative has been supported by 1,140,845 registered voters. This is, therefore, to notify stakeholders and the general public that the Initiative has met the requisite threshold as provided in Article 257 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.”
With the verification of the one million signatures required to initiate the process of amending the Constitution through a popular initiative, the BBI Bill is now set to be tabled in all the 47 County Assemblies for debate.
Chebukati noted that the County Assemblies have three months (90 days) to consider the Bill.
According to Article 257 (7) of the 2010 Constitution, If a county assembly approves the draft Bill, the speaker of the county assembly shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it.
The Constitution further stipulates that If a draft Bill is approved by a majority of the county assemblies, it shall be introduced in Parliament without delay.
A Bill under this Article is passed by Parliament if supported by a majority of the members of each House.
“If Parliament passes the Bill, it shall be submitted to the President for assent in accordance with Articles 256 (4) and (5), ” Article 257(9) reads.
Because BBI relates to matters touching on the supremacy of the Constitution and governance structures as stipulated in Article 255(1), the proposed amendment shall then be submitted to the people in a referendum.
The commission had last Thursday published 1.3 million signatures on its website and asked Kenyans to confirm if they had indeed appended their signatures in support of the Bill.
“Anyone who has been captured as a supporter without their consent can report to the commission by writing to the CEO indicating their objections, ” said Chebukati.