The Okoa Kenya Movement has invited Jubilee leaders to the launch of the Referendum Bill set for next week at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.
The Opposition agreed to invite Jubilee and other political players to the February 18 event, reasoning that they are keen on a bi-partisan event after dialogue failed to take off.
The event will also incorporate players from civil society groups and experts on various areas slated for referendum to lay the case on the problems the country is facing and how the referendum will provide solutions.
The referendum issues include land, devolution of more money and roles, inclusivity, electoral reforms and strengthening of institutions.
The Opposition has been calling for dialogue particularly on issues that cannot be decided through referendum like rising cost of living, expanding public debt, withdrawal of troops from Somalia and the immediate implementation of the original and unadulterated Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report.
Okoa Kenya Committee of Experts Chair Paul Mwangi said speakers of both houses, majority leaders, governors, MPs and senators from Jubilee are some of the people who have been invited for the event.
“We want to bring everybody on board and that is why we have gone the bipartisan way,” Mwangi said, adding that the bill will then be handed over to IEBC together with signatures collected from Kenyans.
Among the issues contained in the bill exclusively seen by The Standard include the transformation of IEBC by clipping the powers of the President in appointing the commissioners and reducing the number of commissioners from the current nine to seven.
Okoa Kenya proposes that the electoral chiefs are appointed by the President with the approval of the National Assembly. Once approved, the commissioners will elect their chair. The bill puts the maximum number of commissioners in all other commissions at seven from the current nine.
The Okoa Kenya Bill further wants to make the announcement of presidential results at the poling centre final. This is in contrast to the current situation where it’s only the IEBC chair, who is the official returning officer on the presidential election.
The bill also wants to extend the period within which the Supreme Court determines the validity of the presidential election from the current 14 days to 51 days.
The bill states that any person seeking to file a petition may make a request for the data, information and results of an election and IEBC shall provide all these not later than 24 hours after the request is made.
The Bill provides for a formula of sharing natural resource between the two levels of government, where the national government will take 80 per cent while at least 15 per cent of income derived from natural resources is allocated to the county where the natural resources are extracted; and at least five per cent of income is allocated to the communities where the resources are extracted.
The bill seeks to compel the Government to issue Kenyans with a national identity within three months of application while Parliament shall enact legislation to provide self-regulation of religious organisations.
On inclusivity, the bill states that State shall ensure that 30 per cent of all public appointments in the national government and its agencies pursuant to Constitution or legislation, are reserved for minority communities.