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Appeal ruling, Governor Lee Kinyanjui tells BBI proponents

COUNTIES
By Kennedy Gachuhi | May 14th 2021
Governor Lee Kinyanjui with Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala (right) in Mombasa County, February 12, 2021. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

A ruling by a five-judge bench stopping the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has elicited mixed reactions from leaders and residents of Nakuru County.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the initiative that Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita, and Teresia Matheka ruled as null and void on Thursday was unstoppable. 

Kinyanjui, who has been spearheading the BBI campaigns in the South Rift region, described the ruling as one of the obstacles confronting the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill of 2020. 

"In the spirit of our Constitution, we respect the High Court ruling. Let us respect the right to disagree, and that is democracy. The journey to constitutional changes is full of obstacles and this is one of them," said Kinyanjui. 

The governor called on the BBI team to file an appeal against the ruling. He said the judges failed to consider key defence evidence against eight consolidated petitions that challenged the BBI process. 

"We feel key matters raised by the BBI team have not been sufficiently prosecuted and therefore the need for immediate appeal to the decision," said Kinyanjui. 

Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama, who voted for the Bill when parliament passed the proposed law, said the judges made a ruling in total disregard of the number of Kenyans who already endorsed the planned changes. 

"The judges made a ruling that mirrors a political decision. I believe the judges made the decision because the President rejected their appointment to various courts. They dwelt more on the President as a person instead of the facts before them," said Arama. 

He added: "Tanga Tanga should not celebrate this ruling. Their happiness will be short-lived. The BBI team will definitely appeal the decision. There are sufficient grounds to overturn the ruling and the constitution amendment process will proceed." 

Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara, who voted against the Bill, said that the Judiciary had stood firm against the mutilation of the constitution. 

"Justice has been served to Kenyans whose money would have been used in a fraudulent referendum. The Bill was being forced on Kenyans and the court has come to their rescue," said Kihara. 

Kihara advised against an appeal and asked BBI proponents to focus on auditing the current constitution. 

"With all the illegalities cited by the judges in their landmark ruling to stop the process, there is no chance for an appeal to succeed. They should instead audit the 20 per cent of the Constitution that was said to be faulty which I believe Kenyans will embrace," said Kihara. 

Lawyer Kipkoech Ngetich said a higher court should uphold the ruling by the High Court.

"The High Court judges resuscitated the sovereign and constituent power. The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have a rare opportunity to tinker with our Constitutional history and speak to political bullies. I stand with the judiciary," said Ngetich. 

 

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