BBI promoters were Waweru and Junet, not Uhuru, court told

BBI Secretariat Co-Chairs Junet Mohamed (right) and Dennis Waweru at Ufungamano hall in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Senior Counsel Otiende Amollo, on Day Two of the submissions at the Court of Appeal, asserted that the High Court erred in its judgement on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) promoters.

Amollo, appearing for the BBI Secretariat, questioned the role of a promoter in a popular initiative, one of the issues at the heart of the BBI hearing.

The advocate faulted High Court’s judgement finding President Uhuru Kenyatta as a key promoter "yet it was BBI Secretariat Co-Chairperson Dennis Waweru and National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed who initiated the Constitutional review push".

“Against all uncontroverted evidence, the promoters of this initiative were Dennis Waweru and Junet Mohamed. The court insists on finding President Kenyatta as the promoter. Anyone can support the initiative,” he told the Appellate court judges.

Amollo said that the Independent Electoral and Bounadries Commission (IEBC) had accepted Waweru and Junet as the promoters of the Bill, and not anyone else.

“They were authorised to collect signatures, which they did,” he argued.

Lawyer Amollo also argued that the High Court coined another term - initiator - when delivering its judgement in May.

“There is no such word as an initiator in article 257. There is only promoters and supporters,” he said, adding that nothing in law stops the President from initiating a popular initiative process to amend the Constitution.

On the question of signature verification, the lawyer argued that the IEBC was supposed to verify one million registered voters and not one million signatures.

“You cannot place undue substance on the question of signatures when in the first place, the law does not require every Kenyan to have a signature, neither a repository of signatures,” he said. 

On Tuesday, June 29, the Attorney General, who challenged the High Court decision, claimed the judges turned the BBI case into a personalised attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta, thus ending up with a wrong ruling that overturned the people’s sovereign power to determine their political and governance destiny.

The AG’s legal reps, led by Senior Counsel George Oraro, urged the seven Appellate Court Judges to “let the people decide” the fate of the BBI Constitutional Amendment Bill through a referendum.


Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021