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Unease after a third of the signatures fail verification test, as IEBC releases first BBI batch

During the kickoff of the collection of signatures for the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 by the pro-BBI team, there had been claims of the use of irregular means by the government to collect signatures. Now, a quick composite look at the figures released yesterday by the IEBC does show that indeed, something wasn’t right.
In some areas, people claimed that they had been coerced into signing the bill by the local public administration, while in others, it was claimed that the government was using dishonest, and fraudulent means to add signatures to the register.
The released signatures yesterday numbered more than 1.6 million signatures. However, what was disturbing was that of all these, more than half a million of them were unable to pass the required verification threshold.
More than two hundred thousand signatories were found to have signed twice, thus rendering their repeated signatures unusable. Another three hundred and more signatures were tossed out after it was ascertained that the signatories were not in the voters register. It is one of the requirements that the signatures be on the voters register.
With this latest development, issues of the legitimacy of the signatures collection exercise, and the entire BBI push might be brought into question.
Last year, during the later stages, a section of tanga tanga MPs led by Ndindi Nyoro and Kikuyu legislator Kimani Ichungwa cast doubt on the validity of the BBI process when they claimed that the Huduma Number registration process was nothing but a cover up for a government ploy in which it intended to use people’s identity for nefarious activities like rigging and cooking figures.
Despite this small hurdle, the BBI team will nevertheless be relieved to have crossed this important stage that now leaves them headed to the County Assemblies, which is the next stop.
It is popularly remembered how back in. 2016, CORD’s attempt at a plebiscite, branded “Okoa Kenya” resulted in a false start, and failed to kickoff, after IEBC, then under Isack Hassan, concluded that the signatures collected weren’t valid.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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