National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Wednesday directed a parliamentary committee on constitutional implementation to consider compressing into one Bill, all referendum drives seeking to amend the Constitution.
The move means that popular referendum drives such as Cord Coalition’s Okoa Kenya, Jubilee’s Boresha Katiba, Council of Governor’s Pesa Mashinani drive and Punguza Mzigo by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, would have to agree to be incorporated into a single Bill, to be voted for by Kenyans.
The directive by Mr Muturi follows a petition by a resident of Kericho County, Mr Joel Rop, urging Parliament to consider publishing a Bill which incorporates all constitutional amendments proposed by various individuals, civil society, political parties and organisations.
“The petitioner prays that the National assembly undertakes to amend the Constitution while taking into consideration draft proposals from the various referendum drives,” said Mr Muturi while presenting the petition to the House on Wednesday.
Mr Rop also calls for the amendment of sections of the Constitution touching on the structure in the national and county governments, land, official languages, and devolution, among others.
Mr Muturi said the request by the petitioner required thoughtful consideration since they propose to fundamentally alter the architecture of the Constitution.
“The petition therefore stands committed to the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee for consideration,” he said.
The referendum drives propose almost similar amendments such as more resources to be devolved to the counties, and changes in the security sector. Only the names and the coalitions and entities pushing them appear to be the difference.
The move however is likely to face resistance from some of the coalitions that have also covered much ground in seeking support and signatures of Kenyans to meet some of the requirements.
Meanwhile, another petitioner, Mr Njoroge Waweru, has requested the National Assembly to remove value added tax on text books, journals and periodicals.