Seven-judge Bench ruling on BBI process praised, criticised

Monday, August 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku.

The Court of Appeal verdict on the Building Bridges Initiative’s (BBI) Constitution amendments continues to draw varied reactions.

While some leaders have accused the judges for failing to take the interest of Kenyans into account, others said the verdict was fair.

Former Law Society of Kenya President Aggrey Mwamu said the judgment was balanced.

“The only danger now is  the petitioners may petition the government to refund the BBI funds,’’ he said.

Migori activist Isaac Aluochie asked proponents of the Bill to return public funds used in the BBI process.

Aluochie, who was one of the litigants in the case, said the Friday judgment was “a reprieve to the already overburdened Wanjiku.”

“The jury favoured the hoi polloi or silent majority whom I represented in court,’’ he asserted

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said he will table a motion to have the money spent by the government in promoting BBI returned to the public coffers.

“The government went ahead to push the BBI agenda even after it became obvious the people were not supporting it and spent huge amount of money which we will be demanding back,” he said.

Mwamu said the legal window to explore other options to amend the laws was still open.

Ruto faulted

He lauded the judges for dismissing proposals to impeach the President.

Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat, an ally to Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who was one of the proponents of BBI, said the former ruling party respected decision of the court.

He, however, faulted the manner in which Deputy President William Ruto and his allies were “celebrating the court’s verdict”.

“From his statement on Saturday, he (the DP) is talking as if he is an outsider in the government he is serving in. We are seeing sinister motives in his statement, “ Salat told People Daily on phone yesterday.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, who was also pushing the proposed changes, said he respected the court’s decision but expressed optimism that amending the Constitution  was still possible.

Tolgos, however, faulted those claiming the BBI process was aimed at creating positions for leaders.

“The biggest beneficiaries of BBI would have been the people as opposed to the leaders. If it does not pass, I see it as a big blow to wananchi,” he said.

Reverend David Kodia of ACK church in Bondo asked Kenyans to be calm as other options are being explored

“This is not the moment to celebrate if the ruling is in your favour. There is a lot at take still at play,” he said.

Prof Kodia said the ruling could escalate the war between the Executive and the Judiciary.

Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko said the Courts were out to punish the Executive.

“The battle is still on through other options, including the Legislature and the people’s power,” he said.

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku challenged politicians to push the agenda of the unity of the country that had been captured in the Constitution amendment draft that was nullified by the courts.

“I join other Kenyans in accepting the outcome of the BBI ruling. As much as we wanted the constitutional amendments, we respect the rule of law,’’ said Lenku.

Lenku says the country is sharply divided along tribal basis and it is the responsibility of political leaders to unite the country.

He said addressing the issue of marginalised communities, which he said had been captured by the BBI, would have strengthened the sense of belonging of all communities. — Reporting by Kepher Otieno, Wangare Njuguna, Christine Musa and Wycliffe Kipsang

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