CLAW BACK GAINS

Muslim leaders reject BBI referendum push

Muslim leaders say BBI report will claw back the gains the county has made since 2010.

In Summary

• They called handshake partners President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga to call off the process and instead focus on fighting Covid-19 that is ravaging the county.

• Leaders say the envisioned constitutional amendment will not bring any reforms.

Supkem chairman Hassan ole Naado addressing Muslims faithfuls after attending Eid-Ul adha ceremony at Narok stadium.
Supkem chairman Hassan ole Naado addressing Muslims faithfuls after attending Eid-Ul adha ceremony at Narok stadium.
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

Muslim leaders have rejected the push to amend the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)saying the envisioned constitutional amendment will not bring any reforms.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Sunday, the leaders tore into the BBI report, terming it a document that will claw back the gains the county has made since 2010.

They called handshake partners President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga to call off the process and instead focus on fighting Covid-19 that is ravaging the county.

 

"BBI will create an imperial president. It will weaken the checks and balances that have been put in place to check the executive," Supkem Chairman Hassan Ole Naado said.

Naado read the statement on behalf of the leaders.

The leaders said if the BBI constitutional amendments are entrenched, the office of the President will be very powerful making it very attractive and a potential avenue for violent elections.

They said it will also weaken checks and balances will entrench poor governance and corruption.

Also, they said BBI would lead to the legislature to be under the capture of the Executive weakening its role of representing mwananchi issues and oversight excesses of the executive.

"It will also provide for an unstable and chaotic government where the Prime Minister is not from the President’s party. Entrenching the culture of impunity by the Executive," they said.

"Regrettably, BBI architects failed to design a process that enhances our constitutionalism and a process that is inclusive, transparent and accountable," the leaders said.

"One of the results of this defect is Kenyans are not able to examine where and from who the BBI constitutional proposals have been taken and why some were taken and others ignored."

The stand by Muslim leaders come a week after Catholic bishops questioned key proposals of the BBI report and the rationale for rushing to a referendum against the backdrop of a bad economy occasioned by the effects of Covid-19.

The bishops questioned the BBI saying if the proposals contained in the document are implemented, chaos will be created in government.

They also said this will create an imperial president, dilute the independence of the police service and create a conflict of interest in parliament.

The bishops said with the surge in coronavirus infections, it is not the right time “to carry out fundamental constitutional reforms.”