Referendum money will be provided – Yatani - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 24 December 2020

Referendum money will be provided – Yatani


The National Treasury will provide money for a referendum to implement the Building Bridges Initiative proposals.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani said the government cannot fail to get resources for whatever it treats as a top priority.

“All the time we have money against as many demands. We can forego some expenditure, projects or programmes,” the CS said.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has said the votes would cost Sh14 billion. But ODM leader Raila Odinga has disputed the amount and has embarked on a call for further reduction of election costs.

The Treasury last Thursday approved Sh93.7 million for the IEBC to verify 4.4 million signatures supporting the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The Bill creates posts of prime minister and two deputies, leader of the official opposition and seeks for MPs to be appointed ministers – changes which require a referendum to implement.

While cautioning that his comments should not be confused for engaging in the raging BBI politics, Yatani said the referendum is considered as a process worth investing in.

“It is worth investing and allocating resources to. Who said this is not important? In my view, it is one of the most important things,” the CS said.

“This is because we want to grow the nation rather than ethnic enclaves and political processes whose determinants are only how tribes have come together.”

The CS said the BBI is a moment of reflection and stands to provide the right environment for economic growth.

Yatani warned that Kenya would be at a higher risk of slowed or stalled economic growth if people continue with “the antagonistic political play that comes every five years”.

He cited the 2007 post-poll chaos that shattered the economy “because of politics, winner takes all and opaqueness in the contest.”

“Anybody who thinks about the economy must think about the circumstances going to provide that environment for sustainability,” the Treasury boss said.

He said elections must not be viewed as an event and that Kenyans must be desirous of a stable country where political competition is considered an ordinary event.

“We cannot continue having our progress tied to an event. When you plan with the long-term, you will have faster and sustainable development.”

Yatani drummed support for investing in the BBI, citing gains in “institutionalising the rights of every individual irrespective of where they come, communities or political alignment.”

The CS said it was a privilege that President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed members of minority communities to his administration.

“We feel privileged because were it not for the decision of the head of state, minorities would not have occupied these offices because they don’t have the numbers. The people with numbers will come and share positions, a situation that the BBI is trying to change,” he said.

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