President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake counterpart Raila Odinga have backtracked on some proposals contained in the Building Bridges Initiative Report launched in October 2020.
According to The Constitution Of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 unveiled in the signature drive on Wednesday, November 25, some of the proposed amendments contained in the initial report were dropped.
According to the task force, only the head of state had the last word about any changes to the document.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga during the launch of the referendum Bill and national signature collection drive on Wednesday, November 25.
Nairobi City County Government
The BBI report had recommended the permanent transfer of major functions of the county government to the national government. The change would have altered the constitutional structure of devolution and triggered the need for a referendum.
However, in the final bill which will be presented to County Assemblies after IEBC approves the over one million signatures requirement, the suggestion was deleted.
“Permanent transfer of functions from Nairobi (county government) reconsidered. Full devolution like the other counties,” Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja announced.
The recommendation for the take over of Nairobi had been made due to its status as the capital city and diplomatic hub whose development must be given due attention.
The amendment bill also dropped the recommendation to reorganise the police service to form a Police Council under the command of the Cabinet Minister for Interior.
The final bill, however, omitted the initial suggestion and instead restructured the organisation of the police.
In the new proposal, the bill introduces the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) as one of the main arms of the service instead of being a division of the police.
In the proposed new structure, the service will comprise the Administration Police Service and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
The amendment also proposed the establishment of the Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions as an independent office under Article 248 (3) of the Constitution.
Some of the initial proposals had triggered opposition from Deputy President William Ruto, members of the clergy as well as their followers.
Despite the reversing of the controversial proposals, those that do not require an amendment to the constitution could still be introduced through statutory amendment bills by Parliament.
The proposal for political parties to select IEBC commissioners, for example, was initially included as part of the constitutional amendment proposals, but the idea was dropped in the final bill presented on Wednesday.
However, ODM Leader Raila Odinga hinted that the plan was still in motion and could still be introduced through an amendment of the Elections Act which would not require a referendum.
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at the Constitution Of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 signature drive at KICC on November 25, 2020