Legislators dampen plan to take BBI to Parliament

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and ODM leader Raila Odinga display BBI document when they toured Kisii County to popularise the document. Photo/PD/File

Members of Parliament (MPs) have rubbished attempts to reintroduce the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) through a parliamentary proposal, saying the courts have been consistent that only a people-driven move can alter the Constitution.

The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) of the National Assembly through its chairman Jeremiah Kioni has talked of attempts to resurrect the BBI Bill in Parliament through various constitutional amendments Bills sponsored by several MPs.

While dismissing Kioni’s proposal, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, said the proposed bills already in parliament seeking to amend the Constitution, cannot go through and do not deserve to be before the House as the move its self is unconstitutional.

 “For instance, one of the Bill before parliament seeks to amend the Constitution to allow for appointment of Cabinet Secretaries from among Members of Parliament but it is however notable that Article 255 of the Constitution provides for the items that may require to be approved vide referendum which include Bill of Rights, term of office of the President and functions of Parliament among others,” explained Duale.

Currently, there are about 7 Bills to amend the Constitution through Parliamentary Initiative under Article 256 .

They are three constitutional amendment Bills scheduled to undergo public participation before proceeding to Second Reading. Two of the Bills are pending before the CIOC Committee and one at the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

Makueni MP Dan Maanzo concurs with the former leader of majority saying most of the bills proposed by Kioni can only be amended through a referendum.

“It will not be possible to make any changes through parliament. The law as explained by the Court of Appeal is clear, that only a people driven route can be used to alter the Constitution,” said Maanzo.

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