'I want to tell Raila for free that the referendum he is talking about in June is impossible. Don’t cheat yourself. The timeline given for you to collect signatures, you need two to three months, unless you want to hoodwink us and collect signatures from Huduma Namba which we won't accept'
It will be impossible to hold a referendum on the proposals by the Building Bridges Initiative task force by June, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale has said.
Opposition chief Raila Odinga and Senate Minority leader James Orengo last week said the country should conduct a referendum on the BBI proposals by end of June or July before 2022 campaigns hot up.
But speaking to reporters in Garissa town on Sunday, Duale said not all procedures required for a popular vote shall have been done by June to allow a referendum to take place.
He said having a referendum entails collection of signatures, drafting of a bill and subjecting the same to 47 county assemblies for approval.
During the rollout of the countrywide BBI meetings in Kisii on Friday, Raila urged the country to prepare for a referendum by June.
Raila and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i led a team of governors, MPs, Senators and MCAs in declaring Nyanza region's support for the BBI.
They told those opposed to the Building Bridges Initiative to join the campaign or political oblivion.
“I want to tell Raila for free that the referendum he is talking about in June is impossible. Don’t cheat yourself. The timeline given for you to collect signatures, you need two to three months, unless you want to hoodwink us and collect signatures from Huduma Namba which we won't accept,” Duale said.
He added, “Introducing the bill takes another one month while taking it to IEBC takes another three months and subsequently to the 47 county assemblies in which at least 24 of them must support you will take another three months. Then you must have budgetary provision and bring it to both houses of Parliament.”
The Garissa Township MP scoffed at the Kisii BBI meeting saying it was a waste of taxpayers' money. He said there was no need for political mobilisation as no one was opposed to the initiative.
“I want to talk directly to Raila Odinga and his brigade. If they want a pure parliamentary system to change the governance structure the way I want it, then they should give us a break and not waste time and taxpayers' money. Go collect the one million signatures and let it go through all the constitutional processes.”
Duale said every region has interests in the BBI.
"For Northeastern, the irreducible current issue Is the controversial census results. Unless it is resolved through the courts then we will not hear any other story," Duale said.
edited by p.o