JUNE 30 DEADLINE

BBI team to hand over report in eight days

BBI task force has until June 30 to submit the report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga

In Summary

• Team constituted by Uhuru and Raila following their March 2018 handshake and given a nine-point agenda of issues to propose how to address them.

• Uhuru gave the clearest indication yet that he would want to oversee constitutional changes before his term ends.  

Tanzanian Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi, Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and BBI task force chairman Senator Yusuf Haji during the BBI report launch at Bomas of Kenya on November 27, 2019.
BOMAS OF KENYA: Tanzanian Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi, Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and BBI task force chairman Senator Yusuf Haji during the BBI report launch at Bomas of Kenya on November 27, 2019.
Image: COURTESY

A referendum on constitutional amendments likely to be proposed by the Building Bridges Initiative team could be held in November. 

The BBI task force said Monday it will be updating Kenyans on the progress the report ahead of the June 30 deadline.

“We shall issue official communication at an appropriate time covering the progress of report,” co-secretary Paul Mwangi told the Star on the phone.  

 
 

The 14-member team led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji is expected to submit the final report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The Star understands that the President has been advised that a referendum beyond this year risks running into an onset of the 2022 campaigns.

Raila has said before that the country will hold a referendum by year's end. Similarly, Uhuru suggested on Madaraka Day that he would want to oversee constitutional changes before his term ends.  

 

“Ten years later, I am already discerning a constitutional moment. Not a moment to replace the 2010 Constitution but one to improve it. A moment that will right what we got wrong in 2010,” Uhuru said at State House on June 1.

Last week, Uhuru and Raila are said to have visited the BBI secretariat at their offices in Nairobi’s Runda Estate where they were briefed on the progress.



It is emerging that the team has retained the initial proposal of a non-executive prime minister, a bone of contention between Uhuru-Raila and Ruto camps.

The initial report that was unveiled in November last year before being taken to Kenyans to validate had recommended the return of the position.

 

The Mt Kenya region has opposed the proposed change of governance system from the current pure presidential to a parliamentary system.

Their worry is that the region is not likely to secure power again in a situation where a party with a majority of MPs will be sitting to pick the PM.

Last week on Wednesday, National Assembly Constitution Oversight Committee chairman Jeremiah Kioni said the Referendum Bill, 2019 will be passed and assented into law by Uhuru in August.

The Ndaragwa MP said the bill, which will remove one of the hurdles facing the possibility of a referendum, is currently undergoing public participation.

“The response is good. We have had constitutional commissions making their proposals and this week we expect more. This bill will be in the table for the President latest August,” he told the Star on phone.

The BBI team was constituted by Uhuru and Raila following their March 2018 handshake and was given a nine-point agenda of issues to propose how to address them.

The issues included divisive elections, ethnic antagonism and competition, shared prosperity, inclusivity, responsibilities and rights, safety and security, devolution, lack of a national ethos and corruption.

The team whose term was extended in January is mandated to propose statutory or constitutional changes necessary for the implementation of the BBI report.

It is also tasked to advise the government on the procedure to be followed in implementing the report.

Edited by R.Wamochie