We’re satisfied with amendments in BBI so far, says Mudavadi

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi has vowed support for the ongoing BBI signatures collection exercise which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at KICC, Nairobi, on Wednesday.

Musalia, who was pictured with other political leaders attending the event had earlier said in a tweet that his party was engaging legal minds to examine the document if their proposed changes were ratified.

“Our legal experts are scrutinising the Bill in detail to enable us [to] comment meaningfully later. Attached in the link below is a copy of the gazetted Bill,” he tweeted. After the launch, the ANC boss issued another reassuring statement that his party was satisfied with the changes.

“I attended the official launch of the signature collection exercise at KICC where the BBI Gazetted Bill was released. My quick scrutiny indicates that some of the concerns that I and other Kenyans expressed have been largely addressed,” he posted on his Facebook page.

Mr Mudavadi was one of the leaders who expressed contrary opinions on the proposals during the launch of the report on October 26 at Bomas of Kenya. In his list of grievances, Musalia opined that the BBI proposals rendered the Senate toothless by stripping its powers to legislate issues to do with devolution.

He joined the Deputy President William Ruto in faulting the proposal which talked of creation of the Office of Ombudsman to be appointed by the President. The leaders argued the proposal would interfere with the powers of the Judiciary which the law upholds.

ANC party has however backtracked on its reservations and lauded the changes as have been captured in the gazetted Bill.

“The diplomatic but firm position that we took as ANC Party has borne fruits. Our quest has not been in vain. We urge Kenyans to read the newly amended document since substantive changes have surely been made.” said Mudavadi.

The party said in a press release that it was satisfied with the amendment that changed Article 172 of the proposals making the Senate be the vetting House for the Ombudsman rather than the National Assembly.

Another amendment was the alteration of Article 230, which now says the president shall nominate and not appoint the chair and members of Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) pending approval of the National Assembly.

The third change which the Mudavadi camp has lauded is that a person who becomes the Leader of the Official Opposition will not come from the same party or coalition which produces the Prime Minister.

“ANC Party through its legal team is now tracking other changes made in the newly amended document and scrutinising the Bill in detail to enable the party comment meaningfully later in relation to some of the issues it had flagged out that needed further amendments,” the party further said.

With ANC shifting camps to support the law changes, all eyes will be on other dissenting political outfits that still hold a contrary opinion.

Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday evening called for a consensus despite the launch of the collection of signatures. The DP argued that rushing into a referendum without ironing the issues will only bring more division in the country.

President Kenyatta Mr Odinga hailed the BBI proposals saying the country’s political gains will be boosted upon the adoption of the changes.

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