Chebukati invites public to scrutinise BBI signatures

Friday, January 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Signature verification process at the Bomas of Kenya.

Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has invited Kenyans to verify whether their signatures were appended to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill 2020 without their consent.

Electoral agency Chairman Wafula Chebukati, in a public notice placed in the local dailies yesterday, said the electoral agency has made public a list of verified supporters on their website.

This was followed by a clean-up exercise by the commission to remove incomplete records, duplicates and those not in the register of voters.

“Further, the commission has uploaded a list of verified supporters on its website to enable voters check and confirm their details,” said Chebukati.

In its website, IEBC published the signatures with names of people who signed, their counties, constituency and polling stations.

“Anyone who has been captured as a supporter without consent can report to the commission by writing to the AG commission secretary/CEO indicating their objections,” the IEBC boss advised.

Statement added: “The duly signed letter should contain their name, ID number and telephone details.

The scanned letter should be emailed [email protected] or dropped at the IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers by 5 pm on  January 25.”

Verification of signatures started on December 30, 2020, and the data capture of the hardcopy information commenced on December 31, 2020.

At least 400 clerks were hired to ensure the verification task is completed in a fortnight.

Senior politicians

The clerks were sworn-in and took the oath of secrecy on December 30 last year before their orientation and training.

They sorted, scrutinised, verified and authenticated the four million signatures, which were collected, backing the BBI referendum bill.

Once the commission gives a go-ahead, the Bill will proceed to all the 47 County Assemblies for validation, thereafter to Parliament before it is subjected to a national referendum.

IEBC is yet to roll out the timeline for the referendum as the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 has to be debated in the Assemblies in a process expected to take a maximum of three months.

“After verification of signatures, counties will have 90 days to debate and approve the Bill.

The Assemblies can complete the exercise in a shorter time to enable the next process to commence early,” said Chebukati.

As stipulated in the Constitution, if at least 24 counties approve the Bill, it will be transmitted and introduced in Parliament without delay.

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