Ruto Speaks on BBI Amendments

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday broke his silence on Amendments in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), saying there is no hurry to have a national referendum.

The Deputy President was addressing a press conference on Wednesday together with his allies after a 5-hour meeting. He said that there is enough time to make necessary amendments on the document.

“What is the hurry for, a door should not be shut for better ideas,” he said, “we are happy that some proposals we wanted have been done but there is still much more room for improvement of the Bill,” he added.

The DP also cited that the proposed referendum should be held alongside the general election in 2022.

Ruto and his allies want funds for the referendum set aside and directed to other urgent issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and help small micro-enterprises.

Ruto and his team want the proposed referendum to be structured in a way that will enable Kenyans to vote for specific issues.

As part of their proposals, the leaders want the number of nominated Members of Parliament reduced by at least 60 members and have more members elected by Kenyans.  The faction proposes bringing back the 47 women representatives to have 94 elected women in both houses a step, he suggested would help boost women leadership in the country.

The recommendations were made after the DP met with 146 Members of Parliament, seven Governors and other leaders during a meeting to deliberate on the BBI at his Karen home.

BBI Amendment Bill is a product of March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, was unveiled last week, with the secretariat seeking at least 1 million signatures to validate it.

By Obed Kipyego

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