Kenyan MPs summoned over bribery claims

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Three Kenyan MPs have been summoned by the speaker of parliament after they made allegations that legislators had been bribed to pass a controversial bill that could significantly alter the country’s constitution.

Lawmakers Moses Kuria, Ndindi Nyoro and Mohamed Ali will appear before the house speaker after they claimed their colleagues received 100,000 Kenyan shillings ($930: £650) each to vote yes for the constitutional amendment bill popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

It’s backed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga who say it will help Kenya deal with bitter ethnic divisions that erupted after the 2017-2018 disputed elections.

But critics led by Deputy President William Ruto claim BBI’s aim is to create positions for leaders while neglecting urgent issues like poverty reduction and high levels of unemployment.

A referendum on the bill is now likely after it was overwhelmingly voted for in both chambers of parliament.

But many Kenyans have questioned the need for the constitutional changes which will increase the number of seats in parliament and expand the executive.

They say the changes will see funds allocated to paying politicians’ salaries at a time the economy was struggling due to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.