DP Ruto wants BBI referendum held during 2022 General Elections.

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By Mourice Seretta  

Deputy President William Ruto now wants the looming Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill referendum be held together with the 2022 General elections.

Addressing a press conference after a closed-door meeting with 146 Members of Parliament, 7 County Governors, 4 Deputy Governors and several Senators allied to him, the second in command said despite the BBI secretariat having captured some of their views in the final report, there are still outstanding issues that need consensus before the Bill is taken to a vote.

The Deputy President said that instead of the country going to a referendum that will cost the country Sh14 million, the referendum should be held together with the 2022 General Elections and the Sh14 million be used to help solve urgent matters like the Covid-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country.

The maintained that the Judicial Ombudsman as captured in the bill is unwarranted and proposes that if the Judiciary is to have one, then the process of appointing an Ombudsman must be done in a manner that will make the Judiciary feel comfortable.

“It is possible to agree that the Ombudsman be appointed in a manner accepted by the Judiciary. The Judiciary is uncomfortable with the manner in which the BBI proposes the Ombudsman be constituted. We also do not want to be seen as wanting to control the Judiciary. We understand that is a sensitive matter,” Ruto said.

Ruto also said that his team was not for the idea of having a bloated legislature that will see the country have a President, Deputy President, a Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers saying that Kenyans were worried that they will not be able to succeed in sustaining a bloated legislature.

Third, the second in command said they also have issues in the manner in which the 70 new constituencies captured in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 will be shared asking that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) be impartial when deliminating the new constituencies.

Ruto also asked politicians to stop personalizing the referendum saying that personalizing the process was backward. 

He said there was still adequate time for every idea and view to be captured in the Bill and that if time was taken to deal with those issues now, that will help Kenyans a great deal in future.

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