We are ready for referendum, MPs say after Uhuru, Raila meet

MPs say they are ready for popularisation campaigns to culminate in referendum.

In Summary

•"It is evident that over 300 MPs drawn from the Senate and the National Assembly have agreed on a total unwavering commitment to the BBI," Orengo said.

•He said parliamentarians are ready to proceed with activities that will culminate in a referendum. 

Members of Parliament allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have said they are ready for a referendum.

Members of Parliament allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have said they are ready for a referendum.

The legislators drawn from the Senate and the National Assembly on Monday said they had broken down the contents of the BBI report and resolved to render it unwavering support.

This comes after the legislators held a meeting with Uhuru and Raila in Naivasha.

The legislators, led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, said through the 'one nation one country' philosophy, that BBI seeks to ensure that no region is left behind.

He said through an increase of county allocations to 35 per cent, the BBI will ensure that all counties are fully equipped and adequately resourced.

Orengo said the BBI  bill will enable the Judiciary to deal with crime and cases involving corruption would be heard and determined in six months.

"Women and persons with disabilities are protected and given greater space and a greater role in leadership. Women are an integral part of the country and must effectively be supported to take up these leadership roles," Orengo said.

He said through the meeting, the legislators have thus agreed to ensure gender equity is achieved by making specific provisions that will see the two-thirds gender rule implemented.

"Among the raft of recommendations was the addition of 70 seats in the National Assembly, to address gender, PWDs and under-representation issues within heavily populated constituencies, especially those in the urban and peri-urban areas," Orengo said.

He said the youth agenda will also be catered for in the BBI by ensuring young people are given a chance to make income by getting financial support.

"It is evident that over 300 MPs drawn from the Senate and the National Assembly have agreed on a total unwavering commitment to the BBI," Orengo said.

"We are ready to proceed with activities that will culminate in a referendum. We therefore urge all Kenyans to join together with us in this noble cause," he added.

Orengo said as they embark on popularisation campaigns, they will ensure that everyone is brought on board.

"No person is greater than Kenya, and for sure this BBI is the fulfilment of the national anthem of peace, love and unity," he said.

The BBI document has become a new political battleground, sharply dividing the country’s political class.

Since its launch last week, two camps have emerged – one pushing for its amendment and the other for its retention as it is.

 While Uhuru’s and Raila's allies are leading calls for the passage of the document without changes, those of Deputy President William Ruto are for its amendment.

The Naivasha consensus has been regarded as key as it paves way for the collection of one million signatures that will kickstart the referendum process.