The National Treasury on Thursday approved KSh93.7 million to fund the verification of the 4.4 million signatures endorsing BBI.
According to The Star, Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani approved the KSh93.7 budget to fund the process after consultations and deliberations with Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials.
The electoral agency had requested KSh241 million from the treasury, a figure that had put IEBC at loggerheads with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Secretariat.
The BBI secretariat had said that IEBC’s budget is outrageous, insisting the agency does not need KSh241 million to verify signatures. In fact, the secretariat said IEBC needs only KSh1 million, given that when presenting the physical signatures, they also provided a soft copy of the same signatures for easier verification process.
With, KSh241, IEBC had said that it will hire and train clerks who would execute the task in 85 days.
After IEBC finishes on signature verification and is satisfied that the initiative meets the requirement, the commission shall submit the draft bill (Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2020) to each of the 47 county assemblies for consideration within three months (90 days).
After approval in county assemblies, the speakers shall then send a copy of the draft Bill, and a certificate that the assembly has approved it, to National Assembly and Senate Speakers.
If approved by a majority of the county assemblies, IEBC shall formulate the referendum question before conducting the referendum.
The latest budget approval could mean IEBC taking a longer period to verify the signatures. Proposers of BBI are projecting that the country may hold the referendum in June, 2021.