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BBI Secretariat trashes hard-hitting court judgement, set for appeal

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BBI Secretariat trashes hard-hitting court judgement, set for appeal

After the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill Thursday night of shock, proponents of constitutional amendments through a popular initiative are preparing to salvage the process that was declared unconstitutional by a five-judge High Court bench.

“For sure the appeals are going to happen, somebody has to relook at this, and somebody has to see through what is purely a political exercise. We shall prove to the public and to the higher courts that this was sheer politics,” said ex-BBI secretariat co-chair and lawyer Paul Mwangi during a Citizen TV interview.

The BBI secretariat flanked by the Parliamentary leadership from the Kieleweke wing on Friday emerged to trash the judgement issued by the court.

In a carefully–worded one page statement, the BBI secretariat co-chairs Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru termed the judgement shallow and inconsequential to the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020.

The team will be contesting the judges’ verdict that IEBC as currently constituted did not have the requisite quorum to verify signatures supporting a popular initiative or conducting a referendum.The team termed the High Court’s decision a judicial activism that cannot stand in the way of a constitutional amendment.

The secretariat also accused the five–judge bench, which indicted the president saying he violated chapter six of the constitution, for allegedly embarking on a fishing expedition saying it granted orders that were not sought, and for having a vendetta against the president.

“Five judges dismissed the whole exercise and went even further than the petitioners themselves expected. They made very personalised attacks against the person and the office of the president. This was a very deliberate plan to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis and chaos through judicial activism,” said BBI co-chair Junet Mohamed.

In the judgement, the court said the BBI steering committee that collected public views across the country was technically an extension of the president. But the secretariat said it had not been mentioned in court yet they are the promoters of the popular initiative and not the president.

“The judges stopped the president, who is not a promoter of the bill…on our part, we assure Kenyans that we shall continue to promote the constitutional amendment bill until it is ratified by Kenyans.”

The five–judge bench presided over by Prof. Joel Ngugi termed the BBI process in its entirety unconstitutional.

Deputy President William Ruto, who has been touted as the de facto leader of the ‘No’ camp, calling on Kenyans to protect the constitution. 

In a tweet, he wrote “Our democracy is anchored on the rule of law, constitutionalism, separation of power and respect to independent institutions.” DP Ruto added that all patriotic citizens must defend these tenets just like the judiciary.

The DP has from time to time termed BBI as a misplaced priority. In a follow-up tweet, he said it is time to vaccinate Kenyans, push economic recovery, the big four agenda and stay united.

But ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, speaking in Narok County, poured cold water on the judgement and called for deeper scrutiny.

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