The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report suffered yet another blow on Sunday, November 22, after Muslim leadership rejected it in its current form.
Speaking to the media during a press conference at the Kenya Arab Friendship Society offices in Nairobi, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) chairman Hassan Ole Naado said the report did not entirely represent Kenyans’ views.
“BBI will create an imperial president. It will weaken the checks and balances created by the 2010 Constitution,” the press statement reads in part.
Having gone through the document, the Muslim community shared the following:
BBI proposals are technical proposals that do not render for easy reading and understanding amongst ordinary Kenyans. The proposals require one to know the various articles of the constitution in order to understand the changes being proposed.
BBI constitutional amendments have far-reaching implications and seek to change the 2010 constitution in fundamental ways.
The proposals will weaken the election management mechanism by entrenching partisanship in the membership.
The change will also give the national government a geographical space by occupying Nairobi County and drastically changing the devolution structure as envisaged in the Constitution.
The Muslim leadership also highlighted the removal of security of tenure for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the abolition of ‘not more than two thirds’ gender principle as a deal-breaker.
In their statement, the creation of an all-powerful President would create an avenue for violent elections, adding that the report would turn the country into a dictatorship.
“This proposal makes the President stronger, weakens opposition, and the PM is a mere lame duck position. It is also likely to destabilize the government and legislature.
“Removal of vetting strengthens the Presidency as the President will now have a hand in the Legislature,” reads an excerpt from the latest press statement, adding that the report is not inclusive.
The Church community was the first to weigh in on the matter after they told President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to open up the document for amendment, failure to which they will oppose it.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said the BBI report requires “serious panel beating” before it is passed.
The two principles recently postponed the scheduled collection of signatures for the BBI move to sanction a referendum.