Orengo: Senate, National Assembly to pass BBI Bill next week
Siaya Senator James Orengo now says that the Senate and the National Assembly will pass the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill next week.
According to Orengo, the Jubilee and ODM parties are committed to the realization of constitutional reforms and have expressed confidence that parliament will unanimously pass the BBI Bill due to their cordial working relationship as evidenced by the famous handshake.
Senator Orengo revealed that the referendum is expected to take place in July or August, and urged Kenyans to prepare to vote in favor of it when the time comes. .
“The BBI bill be passed by the Senate and the National Assembly next week, then a referendum in July or August, I hope you will all vote in support when then time comes,” Orengo said.
The lawmaker made the remarks while attending the burial of Mama Keziah Obama, former US President Barack Obama’s stepmother, in Kogelo village, Alego/Usonga constituency on Saturday.
He stated that the BBI Bill is currently being scrutinized in order to ensure that what goes to the referendum is acceptable to all Kenyans.
Meanwhile, both Houses will debate the joint Legal Affairs Committee report on the Constitution Amendment Bill before voting on it at the second and third reading stages.
The committee’s majority report termed unconstitutional the bill’s second schedule that outlines how the proposed 70 constituencies will be distributed.
This is a position Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja dissented with, in a minority report that will be tabled alongside the majority view when the two Houses reconvene on Wednesday and Thursday.
The committee also documented that nearly all the county assemblies debated and approved a bill that was laced with typographical errors and inconsistencies.
“We have taken note of a typing error that affected 32 county assemblies…that is captured in our report…we may be wrong but that is the fact,” said Nyamira Senator and Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee Okong’o Omogeni.
But a caucus of majority leaders in the county assemblies differed with the joint Legal Affairs Committee’s verdict, claiming talk of multiple bills was an attempt to sabotage the constitution review exercise.
“If indeed it’s true that some county assemblies debated any bill that may have had typographical errors, they can and will most definitely be corrected either by Parliament or the Attorney General’s office,” said Victor Mutuma, County Assemblies Leadership Forum.
The proposed formula of distributing the proposed 70 constituencies has sparked varied reactions, with some leaders from Luo Nyanza claiming ODM leader Raila Odinga had been shortchanged by his handshake partner, President Uhuru Kenyatta; this triggered a news conference by 13 lawmakers from the region.