IEBC says verification of BBI signatures will only start after Treasury releases funds

BBI Secretariat co-chairpersons Dennis Waweru and Junet Mohamed handed the signatures and the bill to ...
BBI Secretariat co-chairpersons Dennis Waweru and Junet Mohamed handed the signatures and the bill to the IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati on December 10, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

The countdown to a referendum has run into headwinds as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says it won’t be able to proceed with the verification exercise until it is funded.

Speaking while receiving 4.4 million signatures from the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat on Thursday, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said they will only embark on the exercise once they get funding from the National Treasury.

“As a commission our work starts here, after receiving the signatures. The soft copy will save us the trouble of typing out the hard copies. We shall now proceed and request for a budget from the National Treasury,” Chebukati said.

“As soon as we get the budget and exchequer then we shall now get a team…our team is already available…we have a referendum committee which will undertake the exercise of signature verification…but, of course, we shall not commence until we get a budget and exchequer from the National Treasury.”

Signatures for the BBI that were presented to the electoral commission dropped to 4.4 million from 5.2 million earlier collected.

BBI Secretariat Co-Chairperson Dennis Waweru cited internal verification as the reason behind the 800,000 signatures drop.

“As you are aware, the minimum requirement is 1 million signatures and so we have decided to submit 4.4million signatures. Wale ambao wanafikiri wanaweza pinga hii process tunataka kuwaambia the bus has left. The only thing you can do…unaweza kimbia uchukue taxi ama nduthi ukimbie you catch up with us because we are not going to stop,” he said.

According to the former Dagoretti South MP, the BBI train is unstoppable.

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