Lobby urges Kenyans to reject BBI in referendum

Uhuru and Raila

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga distribute BBI signing documents to regional representatives in Nairobi on November 25,2020 when they launched the collection of signatures.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A lobby for Kenyans  in the diaspora is urging voters to reject the  Building Bridges Initiative report in the  referendum being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. 

According to Commonwealth Voter Privileges Right Association (COVPRA) the report is being imposed on Kenyans after the views of  certain groups and  elected leaders views were rejected..

Uhuru and Raila have rejected amendments to the final report saying those opposing it had time to give their views to the fourteen member committee they appointment.

The lobby avers that the recommendations in the final report do not represent the position of all Kenyans and a contested referendum would divide Kenyans.

“Kenyans should reject the BBI report. It is two man initiative that is being imposed on the people. The clergy have rejected it, several groups have rejected it. It’s not a Wanjiku Initiative. A few people and their surrogates want to change the Constitution for their personal gain,” Mr David Kimengere Waititu, the association's Organising secretary told the Nation.

“It would have been  necessary to allow debate on all the issues that  arose in the final report  before coming  up with a bill. Kenyans are being taken for a ride,”  he said.

In June the group petitioned the committee  led by Garissa senator Yusuf Hajji to allow views from all dissenting voices saying all Kenyans should be allowed to participate.

“Freedom to Assembly, Freedom of expression and Freedom to political participation are so important in a  process like this one. It would be a sham  if the BBI Team was to ignore the views of some Kenyans. During the  meetings to sensitize the public on the initiative,” Kimengere said.

Leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto and civil society are opposed to some of the proposals in the final report.

The group says a contested referendum would leave the country divided.

“We do not want a process that would leave Kenyans more divided. Let all Kenyans reject this report in a referendum to save their country from a few people who think they own Kenya.  We in Covpra, have our motherland at heart,” he said.

 Covpra said that the future of Kenya lies in the hands of the hollo polloi and not it’s leaders.

“ We call upon the Kenyans poor not to buy to the schemes of the dynasties. Let us protect our country by rejecting this monster called BBI if it goes to the referendum.

The group said in a statement that Kenyans should reject plots by politician to engage in chaos.

“At the end, this might result to   a badly contested referendum and  create a poisoned society ahead of the 2022 general elections. Let’s refuse any incitement to violence and stand up against the dynasties to shape the future of Kenya,” he says.

In their June petition, the group cited the strained relations between the Executive and the Judiciary and the fall out in the ruling Jubilee party over the process as a matter of concern.

“Our position stands that there is no proposal  to fix the simmering tensions between the two arms of government and between the two leaders of the Executive,” Mr Kimengere stated.

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