The Building Bridges Initiative has suffered a setback after it emerged that the majority of county assemblies passed the wrong document.
The Joint Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on April 20 revealed that only 13 counties received and passed the correct version of the document.
Both houses of Parliament also received different documents but according to experts, the Senate’s document is certified by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The committee is now at a crossroads, grappling with how to harmonise the different documents that have three competing articles.
In the report received by the National Assembly, clause 13 (B) references clause 2 of the bill, in the Senate document, clause 13 (B) references clause 3. Experts warned that the correct reference is clause 2 as there is no clause 3 in Article 97 in question.
There is also an error in the marginal note that amends article 188, however, the substantive provision relates to article 189.
The second schedule in the version received by the National Assembly references Article 89 (7) while the document in the Senate makes reference to Article 87 (7). Experts say the correct referencing is Article 89 (7)
This also exposes the Senate’s BBI version to errors despite it being the document certified by the IEBC.
Some of the counties that received the correct version include Mandera, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Nakuru, and Siaya.
The consensus among the committee members is that it is near impossible to amend the bill.
The experts report however gives Parliament a free hand to correct the format and typo errors in the document.
Kenyans have now raised concern that counties unanimously passed a constitutional amendment bill, which will in effect have massive repercussions on the country for decades to come, without even reading it.
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