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High Court rules that Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Amendment Bill did not follow the law

A five-judge bench at the High Court in Nairobi ruled on Thursday that President Uhuru Kenyatta did not follow the law when he commenced the process of amending the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

A judgment that was passed on Thursday evening virtually stated that the 14-member BBI task force and the steering committee led by former Garissa Senator, the late Yusuf Haji, was an illegal entity, that was unknown to the law.

The court stated that there is no other allowable path of changing the supreme law except through parliament or by a popular initiative.

“President cannot be an initiator of and an umpire in amendment of the Constitution,” said the court.

“In reality, BBI was the president’s initiative which is contrary to article 257 of the Constitution. The task force that turned into a steering committee was an unlawful and unconstitutional outfit. It was invalid from the beginning,” added the judges.

BBI promoters told the court that the president was exercising his constitutional mandate and authority when starting the amendment of the Constitution.

The court also noted that there was no public participation in the process because it did not involve Kenyans which is required by law.

“Voters needed the copies in languages that they understand. The only copy annexed here was in English. No efforts made by the committee to make copies available for the public. People must be involved in the legislative process,” said judges.

By JN Wamanji

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