× Digital News Videos Opinion Special Reports Lifestyle Central Coast Eastern Nairobi North Eastern Nyanza Rift Valley Western Business News Stocks Financial Standard Africa Asia America Europe Weird News Editorial Commentary Letters Crazy World Features Entertainment Money & Careers Health & Science Sci & Tech Home & Away Generation Next Cartoon Education Pointblank Environment Travel & Destination Columns Kipkoech Tanui uReport Kiambu Murang'a Nyandarua Kirinyaga Nyeri Baringo Bomet Elgeyo Kajiado Kericho Laikipia Nakuru Nandi Narok Samburu Trans Nzoia Turkana Mombasa Kwale Kilifi Tanariver Taita Taveta Kakamega Vihiga Bungoma Busia Siaya Kisumu Homabay Migori Kisii Nyamira Nairobi Uasin Gishu West Pokot Sunday Magazine The Hague Trial Kenya @ 50 Education and Training Health and Environment Insurance and Financial Security Housing Current Affairs Humour Makau Mutua David Oginde Clay Muganda Comand Your Morning Mohamed Wehliye Wednesday Life Alexander Chagema Arts & Culture Kamotho Waiganjo Barrack Muluka Xn Iraki Urban Rights - By Steve Ouma Branding Voice KCB Fredrick Ogola Sunday Magazine Wanja Kavengi Njoki Kaigai David Oginde Ken Opalo Daisy Maritim Houghton Irungu Hustle News Group Stages Round of 16 Quarter Finals Semi Finals Finals Third Place play-offs Opinion Dr Pesa Podcasts Round Table Sepetuko Eve Woman Ramadhan Special Fact Check Correction Explainers The Standard Insider Blog E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Ndii, activists ask court to switch off BBI reggae

By Kamau Muthoni and Roselyne Obala | September 17th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) his deputy William Ruto (left) and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of Building Bridges Initiative report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on November 27, 2019. [File, Standard]

A Nairobi court has been asked to stop plans to amend the constitution in a case likely to scuttle President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Economist David Ndii and activists Jerotich Seii, Jane Ngondi, Wanjiru Gikonyo and Ikal Angelei are seeking ‘to stop reggae completely’ with their eyes on sections of law which are at the heart of the BBI drive.

The petitioners, through lawyer Nelson Havi, want the court to declare that five chapters of the 2010 Constitution - Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Four, Chapter Nine and Chapter Ten - cannot be altered or changed through amendments, either by Parliament or popular initiative. They argue these chapters form the foundation of the country and should not therefore be altered.

Chapter One deals with the sovereignty of the people and the supremacy of the Constitution while Chapter Two declares Kenya as a republic, defines its territory, national values, language, culture and devolution.

Chapter Four accords Kenyans their fundamental rights, Chapter Nine is about the Executive, while Chapter 10 defines the Judiciary.

The crux of the case is that subjecting these chapters to changes may mean changing the entire the law.

The court documents read that the 2010 Constitution can only be altered through a referendum, not BBI or Parliament.

“If certain fundamental constitutional provisions, principles and values are amended or seriously altered, the life of the Constitution will come to an end. It is therefore trite to say there is implied limitation to what can qualify as a valid amendment to the Kenyan Constitution,” the petition filed yesterday reads in part.

It continues: “Consequently, there is no circumstance under which constitutional change can reasonably embrace the repeal of the essentials of the constitution.”

After a near chaotic 2017 presidential election, a historic handshake on March 9, 2018 between the then nemesis Uhuru and Raila, birthed the BBI with hopes that the initiative would help address election-related ethnic conflicts.

Power sharing

Uhuru and Raila later appointed a team which collected views across the country on how to deal with negative ethnicity, political antagonism and corruption, among others.  

In their court papers, the petitioners argue that Kenya already has a good law that can effectively address the problems cited in the BBI document. To the petitioners, the problem is not the law but failure to comply with it and implement it.

There have been reports BBI recommendations would be included into the constitution through parliament. This will mean the process will sidestep the lengthy route of collecting and verifying one million signatures and the need to have all county assemblies debate them, and at least 24 passing it.

The petitioners argue Kenya already has structures for power sharing between national and county governments, with sections of the law which deal with representation. They also cite Chapter Six which deals with integrity and how to address corruption, among others.

“There is a difference between amendment of the constitution and its replacement. However, the change should not be so radical as to replace the constitutional model currently in force or lead to the replacement of a defining axis of the identity of the constitution. It is the prerogative of the people to change their constitution or system of governance but this cannot be through an amendment procedure,” the court documents state further.

Raila Odinga David Ndii BBI Uhuru Kenyatta Building Bridges Initiative
Share this story


Read More