Who is fooling whom in emerging BBI Bill puzzle?

Friday, April 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
Deputy President Ruto, President Uhuru and Raila Odinga during BBI Report launch. Photo/Courtesy

Fredrick  T. Okango 

A section of the media for the third day,  have continued to report that county assemblies could have received and debated different versions of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 as promoted by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce.

The media reports seems to be  apportioning blame on the promoters of the Bill and by extension the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) notwithstanding the constitutional processes involved in processing a popular initiative Bill.

It is practically impossible that BBI  promoters would have submitted different versions of the Bill to IEBC, which in turn would have submitted the same to the County Assemblies and this is why: Which Bill and who submits the Bill to the 47  county assemblies?

The promoters of a popular initiative in this case BBI taskforce delivered the draft Bill and the supporting signatures to the IEBC, which verified that the initiative was  supported by at least one million registered voters. 

IEBC was satisfied that the initiative met the requirements and its on that basis that IEBC  submitted the BBI draft Bill to each county assembly for consideration within three months.

The other question is who prints the draft  Bill that goes to the county assemblies?

It is simple, the BBI draft Bill was from the Government printers and verified  by both the promoters and IEBC.

And  what happens when the Bill is received at the 47 county assemblies? While introducing the Bill before the county assembly in its first reading, the Speaker asks the clerk of the assembly to confirm that the draft Bill is a popular initiative Bill submitted to them by IEBC .

After the county assemblies approve the Bill, the speakers must  deliver a copy of the same Bill to the joint Speakers of the two Houses with a certificate of approval from the assembly.  But how fundamentally different are the alleged Bills and where are they ?

The media reports that we are being treated to,  alleges that there exist different Bills from different county assemblies but they are not able to publicly  display the fundamental differences in those Bills in their reporting other than the normal  minor typographical errors.

 We would expect the media to tell Kenyans that for example: Bill A from county assembly 02 proposes  a Prime Minister who is appointed by the President and Bill  F proposes a PM who is elected by the people or Bill B from County Asembly 34 proposes 70 constituencies while Bill G  proposes  50 constituencies or none.

In my opinion, these reports and allegations that the promoters of the BBI Bill or better still the faceless “Deep-state” could have sneaked in ‘different Bills’ to different county assemblies are baseless and the imagination of a well organised propaganda machinery that  appears to be from both within and without. 

It is well coordinated and their job is to feed the public with wrong information from the right source. 

It is in my considered opinion that the promoters of the Bill and particularly the two principals must speak out and put back the BBI train on its rails before a potential accident ahead.  —The writer is the secretary general Thirdway Alliance Kenya and political commentator

More on News