The Members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday, May 6, 2021 passed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill after debating on it for several hours.
The 2010 constitution amendment motion sailed through the Parliament by a simple majority as required for a constitutional amendment bill introduced by a popular initiative.
While declaring the result, the National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi announced that 235 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted yes while 83 voted no and two abstained. The total number of votes cast was 320.
Bahati lawmaker Kimani Ngunjiri, a close ally of the Deputy President William Ruto surprisingly voted yes for the Bill.
“I Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri, MP Bahati, I vote YES,” the MP stated amid cheers and jeers.
His move could signal a fallout by some members of the Tangatanga wing of the ruling Jubilee Party.
Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro who is also an ally of the DP Ruto however, voted ‘No’.
The law requires that the bill is passed by both houses of parliament, which mean the Senate will be the new battleground.
If the bill passes in the Senate too, it will be submitted to the IEBC which will craft question and organise the referendum. Kenyans will then go to a plebiscite to either vote yes or no. If they vote yes, then the constitution will have been amended.
Earlier, a section of senators pushed for an amendment of the document to realign it with the constitution.
The debate on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 will take place on May 11 2021 at 10 am when the Senate officially breaks from their recess.