Uhuru and Raila's handshake deal at risk of failing through petition filed in court

The handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga is part of a scheme to change the Constitution through the back door, a court has heard.

Researcher Moraa Gesicho yesterday asked a court to stop the operations of the Building Bridges to Unity Advisory Task Force within the next seven days.

Ms Gesicho argued that the task force co-chaired by Busia Senator Amos Wako and his Garissa counterpart Yusuf Haji was not legally formed and had no mandate to make proposals to change the Constitution.

“President Kenyatta and Raila’s brazen violation of the Constitution by using their personal interests rather than the people’s interests must not be allowed to continue. Their proposal for the task force is an invitation to anarchy since it undermines the rule of law,” said Gesicho.

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She submitted that the two could not initiate changes to the current system of governance through the Building Bridges task force, adding that any recommendations the task force came up with would be unconstitutional.

Gesicho said although the agreement between the two leaders brought peace after a chaotic repeat presidential election last year, the President was not under any obligation to consult, negotiate or sign a deal with Raila.

“The Constitution does not allow the President to seek assistance from the leader of Opposition in the governance of the country. The only people mandated to assist him in governance are the Deputy President and Cabinet secretaries."

She accused the President of failing to involve or disclose to Kenyans the reasons and purposes of the task force.

She also claimed that the manner in which Uhuru informed the public about the task force was undignified and disrespectful, and the executive power he purportedly used was not approved by the public.

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Gesicho argued that in any case, the existence of the task force was unlawful because the President did not put his decision in writing and affix his seal and signature as required.

“In view of the fact that Uhuru and Raila had already evaluated challenges facing the nation in their joint communiqué after the handshake, there was no justification to establish the task force to identify issues affecting the country, which the two leaders had already done,” she said.

She also accused Uhuru of mixing his personal and public interests.

“President Uhuru and Raila are using the task force to establish a government not recognised by the Constitution. It is the reason why the task force must be stopped before it makes recommendations not supported by the public."

President Uhuru KenyattaOpposition leader Raila OdingaMoraa GesichoBuilding BridgesAdvisory Task ForceHandshake