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Nyanza tops in signature collection with 794,300

Nyanza leads in the number of signatures collected in support of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as the national total hit 4.7 million, according to figures released yesterday.

Some 794,315 voters have signed up in Nyanza, followed by Western (751,000), Eastern (720,000), Rift Valley (667,000) Central (643,880), Coast (608,578) and Nairobi(521,000).

Counties in the northeast had not released their figures by the time of going to press.

Leaders converged on counties to hand over the signed booklets on Thursday. 

However, allies of Deputy President William Ruto kept off the exercise.

Kisumu leads Nyanza in marshalling the highest number of people appending their signatures, with 177, 832.

Homa Bay comes second with 174,603, followed by Siaya (156,323,) Kisii (130,000), Migori (94, 872) and Nyamira (60,379).

“This is a vote of confidence in BBI,” Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang Nyong’o said.

He criticised those opposing the process, saying it is not meant to settle all the problems bedevilling Kenyans but to deal with the nine urgent points.

Leaders who attended the handing over of the signatures were Siaya Governor Corner Rasanga, Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathews Owili, Migori County Secretary Chris Rusana, former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and Mr Bob Madanje, one of the coordinators of the BBI.

Western Kenya counties surpassed their targets.

Kakamega has the highest number at 322,600 against a target of 151,773.

Some 201,400 people in Bungoma appended their signatures to the document, against a target of 151,773 while Vihiga had 125,648 signatures.

The booklets used in the signature collection were handed to Western Regional Coordinator Nabii Nabwera at Bukhungu stadium.

“We are excited by the number of signature collected in just five days. It shows the BBI has overwhelming support,” Mr Nabwera said.

The Rift Valley team that was coordinating the exercise was led by Nakuru Governor  Lee Kinyanjui and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.

As expected, most of DP Ruto’s allies kept off the event.

Mr Kinyanjui accused the DP of using delaying tactics to stall the process.

The former Bomet governor said holding the plebiscite alongside the 2022 General Election as demanded by the DP’s team is not possible.

Other leaders present included Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta, former Kericho senatorial candidate Paul Sang and Rift valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya.

More than 450,000 voters in Kitui, Makueni and Machakos counties appended their signatures in support of the BBI while 320,000 gave their nod in Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties, according to BBI coordinator Lenny Kivuti.

Meru topped with 170,000 signatures, Embu (102,000) and Tharaka Nithi (50,000).

“Let us stop talking like Kenya has never had a referendum. Let the general practice of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ be applied,” Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said when he received signatures from Mr Jackson Musyoka.

At least 643,880 residents of Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyandarua counties have signed the booklets in support of the BBI.

Nyeri leads the pack with 100,310 signatures, Nyandarua (78,932), Murang’a (166,390), Kiambu (181,744) and Kirinyaga (116,613).

Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata praised BBI, saying it would stop the scrapping of constituencies.

Some 608,578 people in the Coast support the Constitutional amendments. Kilifi leads with 230,393 signatures, Kwale (199,114, Mombasa (109,280), Taita Taveta (38,436), Lamu (30,990) and Tana River (20,920).

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