Kiraitu, Khaminwa differ on verdict

Monday, May 17th, 2021 00:00 |
Lawyer John Khaminwa. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Top legal minds in the country yesterday continued to differ on the judgement by the five High Court judges on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

While Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi faulted the judges, senior council John Khaminwa and lawyer Gitobu Imanyara welcomed the ruling, saying it had saved the Constitution from being mutilated by politicians.

Kiraitu said the law does not operate in a vacuum. 

“The High Court lost focus on the BBI’s big picture,” the governor said in a statement.

“We need to address our perennial cycles of electoral violence which has made democracy in Kenya a primitive, dangerous game,” he added.

 He said the BBI aimed at enhancing  inclusiveness and uplifting Kenyans. “We need the 35 per cent promised by BBI to the counties. We need to implement the two-thirds gender rule,” he added. 

The governor, who is an advocate of the High Court, said judges’ decisions should aim at providing solutions to problems facing the country. 

“It is my hope and prayer that  the Court of Appeal will rise above narrow legal and procedural cobwebs, and consider BBI in its broad canvas, in a jurisprudence to advance the fundamental interests of Kenyans,” he said.

But Imanyara and Khaminiwa said there was no need to appeal the case.

Khaminiwa said international norms do not favour attempts to amend constitutions which contain firm, entrenched Bill of Rights, separation of powers and eternity clauses in provisions. 

“Any intended appeal is a waste of national resources by way of advocates fees and disbursements,” Khaminiwa said in a statement yesterday. 

“Let us forget BBI saga and leave it to historians and move on with life. Our judges have guided us properly on the law,” he added.

Imanyara said the five-bench court had saved the Constitution from the most serious assault it has faced in the ten years of its existence. 

He said it would be a challenge for the Attorney General and his team to get the High Court decision overturned by the Appeals court, adding that even if it were to succeed, it would be too late to hold a referendum before next year’ General Election.

“The culture of rule of law and constitutionalism that our country is settling into has been entrenched,” he said.

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