Groups back constitution change, urge Parliament to pass BBI bill

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 00:00 |
Mau Mau Veterans Association Secretary General secretary general Gitu Wakahangeri when he appeared before joint legal committees of Senate and National Assembly in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Wiper Party yesterday led Mau Mau war veterans, women, youth and students groups in throwing their weight behind the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) sponsored Constitutional Amendment Bill urging Parliament to approve it.

They backed the proposed constitutional changes saying the bill will fix the perennial challenges the country has grappled with for decades.

“We support this bill as it is and we ask, of course, Kenyans to pass it when it is put before them in the referendum,” the Party’s vice chairman Victor Swanya said.

Swanya told the joint committee co-chaired by Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira) and Kangema MP Muturi Kigano that the proposal to introduce Ward Development Fund was progressive as it would cascade development down to the ordinary people.

Separately, the Linda Katiba lobby opposed the bill terming it a threat to the transformative promise of the 2010 constitution.

Led by Cindy Mwendwa, the group said the proposed changes to the constitution does not seek to solve the problems that have bedeviled the county and persists including corruption, human rights abuses, marginalization, and exclusion.

“We take this opportunity of public participation to record for posterity that the constitution amendment bill 2020 currently before parliament is unconstitutional, illegitimate a travesty of justice and an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans,” they said in a memorandum to Parliament.

 “In considering this bill, parliament is aiding and abetting the same, In view of the foregoing, we urge Parliament to heed the advisory come to its sense and suspend any further action on this bill,” they added.

However, Mau Mau War Veterans Association urged MPs and Senators to pass the bill saying it will cultivate and develop unity among Kenyans.

 “BBI will create love and helpfulness among the people of Kenya without nepotism and make Kenyans live in harmony,” Gitu Kahengeri, the group’s secretary said.

Young Women for Kenya (YOWK) also backed bill saying the proposal to increase the number of senators from the current 47 members representing each county to 94 senators will be a game changer for mainstream representation and promoting gender equality and women empowerment agenda. Each county will be represented by two senators, one woman and one man.

 Led by its founder and chairperson, Sasha Wamae, they argued that the inclusion of women in the Senate means that they will  be part of key decision making on resources allocations and go ahead to oversight as opposed to running a women representative docket that have less impact.

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