Catholic bishops have poked holes in the BBI report as they read mischief in the proponents rush to have a referendum when the country is ‘fumbling’ with covid-19 and a ravaged economy.
The bishops stated that coronavirus infections are spiking for the country to spend most of it;s time in discussing BBI reports and the politics around it.
“Hit by Covid-19 pandemic, with the economy affected, does the country have the funds to carry out a referendum before 2022, eighteen months before a General Election that also requires money? Can the country afford to spend its very limited resources on a referendum when there is a struggle in the education and health sectors to provide for urgently needed support due to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic? their statement read.
The statement was signed by Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops chairman, Archbishop Philip Anyolo.
The bishops also noted that there are proposals in the Building Bridges Initiative report that do not require a referendum.
Those should first be implemented but the implementation of the document in its entirety should not be a priority.
“We believe that proposals that are legislative or which require policy or institutional and administrative amendments should be handled by the relevant existing organs and institutions of governance,” the clerics said.
While emphasizing on building of consensus rather than taking sides the clerics did not fail to poke holes on the document fronted by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
They have strong reservations on four issues in the document which they stated must be reviewed.
Like Tangatanga / The Hustler Movement associated with the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto, the bishops have issues with expanding the executive.
The clerics are against the proposal to introduce the office of the Prime Minister and two deputies and the picking of Cabinet Secretaries from the National Assembly.
And again like DP Ruto they argue that with the president selecting the PM and the deputies, the winner-takes-all will not addressed.
“To give the President the power to appoint the Prime Minister and the two deputies risks consolidating more power around the President thereby creating imperial presidency. This amendment could be creating the same problem it set out to solve,” they added.
They further expressed opposition to the document’s proposals to elect two senators per county and the idea to create 70 more seats in the National Assembly.
They said expanding the executive will weigh down on the already overburdened taxpayers.
“There is no reason why we should have a large number of legislators. We do not want more government but better government,” the bishops said.
They also accused the politicians drumming support for the document for planning to turn the electoral body into a political outfit.
BBI report wants political parties control the nomination of the IEBC commissioners.
They further poked holes on the report’s idea to form a National Police Council under the Interior Cabinet Secretary, arguing that it will turn the country into a police state.
Pundits have also argued that formation of a police council will turn police into a political tool used by regimes to oppress opponents and critics.
They said that many issues have been raised from various quarters on the report that President Uhuru Kenyatta should ensure Kenyans are given adequate time to review the document.
Their call to review the document also adds to that of DP Ruto’s camp that wants the BBI report revised to address issues affecting the people and not creating more position.
Coward politicians like Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja on Wednesday expressed concerns issues with the proposal to elect a male and female senator per county.