The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum is well on course after the National Treasury released Ksh93 million to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for verification of 4.4 million signatures.
The electoral body had earlier submitted a budget of Ksh 241,011,000 but reviewed downwards to Ksh 93.729,800.
In a statement, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati Friday said they will proceed with the exercise accordingly with the immediate hiring and training of clerks.
The verification personnel will not be accommodated as factored in the earlier budget declined by Treasury.
“Upon submission of the budget to the National Treasury, the Commission was invited for discussions on cost rationalization given the constrained fiscal space. It was agreed in that meeting that the Commission explores several scenarios. The Commission resubmitted budgets based on four (4) scenarios, the highest being Kshs. 241,011.000 as submitted earlier and the lowest being Kshs. 93.729,800 mainly based on non-residential verification clerks” explained Chebukati.
The BBI secretariat lashed at the IEBC chair for pushing for the Ksh241M, terming the budget as outrageous.
But Chebukati defended the request citing Covid-19 situation saying it was premised on providing full accommodation to all verification personnel to avoid daily commute and also comply with curfew restrictions to ensure optimum verification process.
“The Commission resubmitted budgets based on four (4) scenarios, the highest being Kshs. 241,011.000 as submitted earlier and the lowest being Kshs. 93.729,800 mainly based on non-residential verification clerks. Subsequently, the National Treasury made an allocation of Kshs. 93,729,800 to the Commission for the exercise” he said.
IEBC will verify the signatures before submitting the draft Bill to each county assembly for consideration. This has to be done within three months after the date it was submitted to the electoral body.
The draft Bill has to be endorsed by the majority of the county assemblies (at least 24 county assemblies) for it to move to the next level where it will be introduced in parliament.
A copy of the draft Bill is to be delivered to the speakers of the two Houses of parliament by respective county assembly speakers including a certificate authenticating its approval by the county assembly.
Several legislative proposals are expected to be enacted by Parliament to implement parts of the BBI report. If the document is adopted by parliament, then, it will finally be subjected to a referendum presenting the electorate with a chance to either approve or reject it.