BBI: Youth calls for an all inclusive discussions on Constitutional review process

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,3RD NOV 2020– A section of youths under the umbrella of Caravan for Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) have called for inclusion in the process of educating young people especially those in the villages about the report and its contents.

Led by Kimori Machoka the youths argued that the National Secretariat that has been established to offer civic education on BBI does not represent Kenyan youth.

“All youths willing and interested must be given a platform and a chance to be heard and to actively and acutely participate in the unifying process of the BBI. Inclusivity is the key to unity; it is fundamental principal upon which the BBI was anchored,” Machoka said.

The group however restated its support for the report saying they were ready to go across the country to rally support for BBI. They said if passed, the youth will no longer be used to perpetrate violence during elections.

“The BBI document is a unifying factor in this country and this ultimately means that no one is going to be left behind or hide under tribal cocoons.  We shall forge the way forward in this country as youths subscribed to love peace and unity and come together and stop the cycles of war and hatred after every election cycle,” he said.

The BBI report launched on October 26 at the Bomas of Kenya contains a raft of proposals including a 7-year tax holiday for young people who start up businesses.

On Mondayabout 300 Members of Parliament supportive of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitution review report resolved to popularize the adoption of the document without any further amendments.

The resolution was announced at the end of a two-day retreat which was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga.

Members who attended the meeting noted the document is the culmination of a lengthy process that involved an extensive public consultation exercise and was further validated through an equally detailed  process.

“We stand here today on behalf of the approximately 300 MPs from both the Senate and the National Assembly to declare our total and unwavering commitment to the BBI. We are ready to proceed popularizing the report across the country.

“We have a schedule of activities that will culminate in a referendum that will bring very meaningful and very far-reaching amendments to the Constitution,” Senate Minority Leader James Orengo said as he briefed reporters after the closed-door session.

The BBI Consultative Meeting held in Naivasha also agreed on a formula for the allocation of the seats in which counties that are presently under-represented by virtue of having a heavy population, will on the basis of population quota of 132,138 people per MP, receive additional lawmakers.

The resolution to proceed on with the campaigns to popularize the adoption of the implementation report poured cold water on calls by the Deputy President William Ruto his allies and other like-minded Kenyans for consensus building negotiations insisting that it was possible to have a non-contested referendum.

“There is absolutely no reason why anybody in this country should put anybody to a divisive debate or to a contentious referendum we can all agree. That is why we are saying come let us reason together,” Ruto said on Sunday while addressing Christian faithful in Nyeri and Tharaka-Nithi Counties.

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