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Monday, December 14, 2020 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is now in a dilemma over former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Building Bridges Initiative referendum.

This is after his allies and those of the ODM leader demanded the release of the referendum cash.

 The MPs, led by Kieni MP Kanini Kega and his Suna East counterpart, Junet Mohammed, told Treasury CS Ukur Yattani to release funds for the verification of BBI signatures without parliamentary approval.

This, the MPs said, was to avoid delaying the process crucial to the referendum, given that the National Assembly is on recess until next year.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has three months, with the timeline having kicked off on December 10 when the signatures were submitted to the agency, to ensure that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum bid is backed by at least one million registered voters.

“Treasury is mandated under Article 223 of the constitution to spend resources and notify Parliament to regularise this expenditure in a supplementary budget within two months or if the House is in recess, within two weeks after it is back.”

“Nothing, therefore, stops the Treasury from releasing the money to the IEBC to verify the BBI signatures.”

“Nothing also stops IEBC from starting the process right away as they await funds,” Kanini Kega, who is the Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman, stated.

“What the IEBC needs is not really a lot of money.”

“They already have the staff and the infrastructure and the little extra they need is just to hire a few additional staff.”

“So it should not be a problem,” added Kega.


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