President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga have launched the BBI signatures collection drive at the KICC, setting the stage for the collection of signatures supporting a referendum to amend the Constitution. The launch was attended by several leaders, including Senate and National Assembly speakers, Governor led by CoG chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya, party leaders, MPs among others. Speaking at the function, the President lauded the BBI process, saying it allowed for views from many Kenyans to be collected and the window for giving proposals extended for two years. “I’m confident that the process has been widely consultative and has captured the best of ideas, and this is not the end of the process as Kenyans continue to express themselves,” he said.
He noted that the handshake averted an impending disaster with political temperatures rising at the time. ODM leader Raila Odinga urged Kenyans to come out and append their signatures, “By appending your signatures today after going through the bill, you are stamping the seed of approval for the process…” he said. He further urged Kenyans to be done with the whole process in record time so that other key components can be completed, adding that he has worked with people in other processes to bring change to the country for a long time.
He however urged the BBI secretariat that will be leading the signatures collection to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols, “Coordinators across the country must understand that other than collecting signatures, they have a duty to protect the lives of Kenyans who show up to append signatures.” On his part, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, who is also the co-chair of the BBI secretariat, said an app has been launched to help Kenyans append their signatures through a digital platform. Kenyans can access it by going to a website, www.bbisignatures.org, “If you log in to that website you’ll be able to sign like any other person who signs physically and your signature will be valid and will be used,” he stated, adding that one’s ID number and some other details will be captured and used as part of the signatures.
He outlined that the process of collecting signatures across the country will take one week, with the secretariat setting a target of 4 million signatures, although at least 1 million signatures of verified voters are required. After collection, Junet said the signatures will be taken to IEBC, who are expected to verify in the shortest time possible, and at least 24 County assemblies will have to approve the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, “We have 30 Governors in attendance here that’s a sign that the document is as good as done, by them coming here it’s a sign of endorsement,” said Junet at the function. He said parliament will also have the chance to approve the Bill.
Junet said the IEBC has approved the forms to be used. On the forms, one will have to fill their name, ID or passport numbers, County of residence, constituency and County ward among other details. He said the coordinators will abide by the Covid-19 protocols in the whole process, with BBI meetings to be held in town halls with not more than 100 people in attendance, “As a secretariat we will abide by the rules of the Ministry of Health.”