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Major hitch in push for early referendum

A myriad challenges stand in the way of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) despite supporters’ upbeat mood.

On Wednesday, ODM leader Raila Odinga said that drafting the final report was at an advanced stage despite the coronavirus scare.

“Me and President Uhuru Kenyatta did agree to bring the people of Kenya together as one, to deal with ethnicity, gender inequality, exclusion, among other issues, and these cannot be achieved if one half of the population is excluded from nation building,” Mr Odinga said.

“We want all the issues raised by the women leaders captured in the final report,” said Mr Odinga even as the BBI debate continues to draw division with political leaders differing on the proposals.

But even as the leaders exude hope and confidence for a referendum, several queries have remained unanswered, including the availability of funds, a legal framework for the initiative, a fractious and image-battered electoral body to conduct the vote, and time running out.

On Thursday, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati said that there was still enough time to conduct the plebiscite “as long as the budget is available”.

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