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A petitioner mulling on the reintroduction of BBI bill

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left), with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right), during the handing over of the BBI bill by the Special Committee.

The reintroduction of BBI bill (Building Bridges Initiative bill) is under a serious consideration by a petitioner.

The petitioner, Mr Victor Okul, has written to the National Assembly with the intention of having the Bill – similar to the botched constitutional amendment bill 2020 – be debated. The petitioner, Victor Okul, wants Members of Parliament to consider having the law changed, with the intention of changing the structure of the executive.

The Bill is similar to the BBI in the sense that it requires that the executive be expanded to creat a position for a Prime Minister, his two deputies and an office of the official opposition leader. (The three officers will be parliamentarians).

“The current winner takes it all system is regressive and divisive in presidential elections,” Mr Okul said.

Kesses MP Julius Rutto, also weighed in, saying that the country is facing a challenge with the Constitution. “The debate on whether or not the three new offices will be created, should be decided in a referendum,” the MP said.

Should the reintroduction of BBI bill succeed, it will mean that parliament leadership will have to be restructured. That will mean that the House speaker, followed by the Prime Minister, then leader of the opposition (in that sequence) will be the top leadership of the House. Currently, the leadership in the house is headed by the Speaker, followed by the Majority Leader, then Minority Leader coming as the third ranking official.

It is not yet clear how Kenyans will react to the reintroduction of BBI bill. The last time that the similar bill was before the House, it was approved by the majority of members of both houses – but went ahead to be rejected by the supreme court judges on the legality of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s involvement.

But even though some people will want it pass through, those who were opposed to the original BBI bill will still likely oppose it, seeing it as an reintroduction of BBI bill through the back door.

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