A section of Coastal legislators have said the referendum to change the 2010 constitution is “unstoppable.”
Mombasa Senator Mohammed Faki and his Kilifi counterpart Stewart Madzayo thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for gazzetting the extended mandate of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force to start the process of changing the constitution.
The country political class is divided into two; those calling for referendum to change the constitution using the BBI report proposal and those opposing the referendum.
‘Tangatanga versus Kieleweke’
Deputy President William Ruto is leading the team that is opposing the referendum push, whereas President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga are for the referendum.
President Uhuru and Raila want the referendum to be held sometimes around June this year, Deputy President Ruto’s team said it is impossible to have the referendum this year.
Faki, who is an ODM legislator and a lawyer by profession, said a referendum can happen anytime of the year as long as questions are prepared and signatures are collected and presented to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
It will also require drafting of a bill and subjecting it to all the 47 counties for approval after the IEBC approves the signatures collected and the referendum questions.
“We were only waiting for President Uhuru to gazette the committee of expert for the BBI that will lead us to the referendum. Every other thing will fall into place,”said Faki.
The 14-member BBI task force Chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji was gazetted in March 2018 with the mandate expiring on October 23, 2019. An extension was gazetted two days ago.
“We want a referendum that will change our country style of leadership. Right now, the ethnic group with bigger population is in advantage of winning the Presidency. We want a system whereby the minority, like the Coastal people can also win the Presidency,” said Faki.
Madzayo, a retired judicial officer, said the referendum will resolve some of the historical injustice in the country.
“We have so many problems in coast region, especially the land issue. We want a referendum that will address this problem. The BBI report is going to address this,” he said.