The National Assembly on Thursday, May 6, passed the BBI 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 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.