It has emerged that the BBI secretariat was forced to slash the number of signatures collected before submitting them to the IEBC on Thursday.

Initially, the team collected about 5.2 million signatures but they only submitted about 4.4 million signatures to the IEBC.

Speaking at the IEBC offices, BBI Secretariat Co-Chair Dennis Waweru noted that the team removed over 800,000 signatures during an internal verification exercise. 

According to Waweru, the deleted signatures had errors and inconsistencies that would compromise the referendum process.

“We want to have clean data. The IEBC gave us a format and that is what we followed,” Waweru had explained.

For ease of processing and verification of the signatures, the team also delivered the forms in soft copy via a hard drive to IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati.

Chebukati stated that the verification process would only start when the National Treasury avails the budget.

“We have received the sample signatures. There will be a team waiting for you upstairs to go through the processes of handing over the main bulk of the signatures. As a commission, our work starts here.

“We shall now proceed and request a budget from the National Treasury. As soon as we get a budget from the exchequer we shall now get our team, the referendum committee, to verify the signatures. Of course, we shall not commence until we get a budget,” he stated.

During the presentation, Chebukati noted that the commission seeks to avoid speculations by giving the public updates on the verification process.