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MPs pass BBI Bill

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.

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President Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga unveiling the BBI document. Photo/Courtesy

The National Assembly has this evening passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 after MPs extensively debated on the document the better part of the day.

The motion passed by a simple majority as required for a constitutional amendment bill introduced by a popular initiative. 

National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi announced that 235 MPs voted yes while 83 voted no and two abstained. The total number of votes cast was 320.

A surprising vote was at the National Assembly was that of Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri who voted for the approval of the amendment.

The vote by Ngunjiri, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, could signal a fallout by some members of the Tangatanga wing of the ruling Jubilee Party.

“I Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri, MP Bahati, I vote YES,” the MP stated amid cheers and jeers.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, also an ally of the DP, stated voted ‘No’, adding that he was doing so to defeat alleged deception and conmanship.

His sentiments seemed to be directed to Ngunjiri for making the surprising twist of events.

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.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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