ANTI-BBI

Youth lobby rallies Kenyans to shoot down BBI referendum

Say BBI is a fraudulent document that is being shoved down the throats of Kenyans.

In Summary

• Youth Against BBI Consortium the group on Tuesday said the BBI is a fraudulent document that is being shoved down the throats of Kenyans.

• Chairperson Micheal Rapudo said Kenyans are currently burdened by the Covid 19 pandemic, unemployment and inflation coupled by political instability.

Youth Against BBI Consortium Chairperson Michael Rapudo
Youth Against BBI Consortium Chairperson Michael Rapudo

A youth lobby group now wants Kenyans to shoot down the Building Bridges Initiative at the referendum.

Under the umbrella of Youth Against BBI Consortium-YABC, the group on Tuesday said the BBI is beyond any reasonable doubt a fraudulent document that is being shoved down the throats of Kenyans.

Chairperson Micheal Rapudo said Kenyans are currently burdened by the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment and inflation coupled by the ongoing political instability across the country.

Rapudo said many Kenyans are grappling with their new way of life and as the gap between the rich and the poor widens due to the effects of Covid-19, the last thing Kenyans need is a costly referendum.

"The youth whose voice has been taken because they have been economically disempowered we ask them to join us in the fight against the BBI," he said.

He said YABC is a broad-based coalition of youth leaders from all over the country who have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the push against constitutional change through the BBI process.

"This initiative is obviously meant to favour the rich and take advantage of the poor at this very moment when Kenyans families are going through a tough time," he said.

The sentiments come after the Constitutional Amendment Bill is expected to move to the next level in the National Assembly.

This is after the bill achieved the minimum 24 counties needed to take it to a referendum.

So far 35 counties approved the Bill with only Baringo voting against it.

They include Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisumu, West Pokot, Busia, Trans Nzoia,  Kajiado,  Kisii, Vihiga, Nairobi, Laikipia, Samburu, Kakamega, Narok, and Mombasa.

Others are Makueni, Kitui, Nyamira, Machakos,  Murang'a, Taita Taveta, Bungoma, Lamu, Nyeri, Garissa, Tharaka Nithi, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Meru, Migori, Kiambu, Bomet,  Marsabit and Embu.

The Building Bridges Initiative Bill was taken to the assemblies after the IEBC verified over 3.1 million signatures.

Governors were enlisted to lobby the MCAs in their respective counties to support the Bill once it gets to the County Assemblies.

With over 24 counties passing the draft bill, the speaker of the county assembly shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it.

Article 157(7) says that if the draft Bill has been approved by a majority of the county assemblies, it shall be introduced in Parliament without delay. 

Parliament will play a central role in the implementation of the BBI report through legislation.

At least 12 broad legislative proposals are expected to be enacted by Parliament to implement parts of the BBI report.

If a majority of the members of each House pass the Bill, it shall be submitted to the President for assent.

But if either House of Parliament fails to pass the Bill, or the Bill relates to a matter specified in 255 (1), the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the people in a referendum.

Article 255(1) outlines areas of the Constitution that must be taken to a referendum if they are to be amended.

A proposed amendment shall be approved by a referendum if at least 20 per cent of the registered voters in each of at least 24 counties vote in the referendum and the amendment is supported by a simple majority of the citizens voting in the referendum.