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Don’t stop BBI reggae as it is the people’s choice, Court of Appeal told

By Jael Mboga | June 29th 2021

Lawyer Mohamed Nyaoga with Senior Counsel James Orengo at the Supreme Court building on June 2 during the mention of the BBI case appeal.

The Court of Appeal has today heard that the High Court disregarded the people’s will in stopping BBI.

The court heard that the essence of a popular initiative is that it has to be popular.

Solicitor General Ken Ogeto told the seven-judge bench that the constitution does not provide for the origin of a proposal to amend the law through a popular initiative.

The High Court in February blocked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission  (IEBC) from subjecting the Building Bridges Initiative Bill to a referendum, throwing the constitution-changing process in limbo.

Ogeto added: “An initiative only becomes an initiative after attaining one million registered voters.”

He called on the Appellate court to overturn the High Court’s decision and restore the people’s will.

In February, the national polls agency stated that more than three million Kenyans support the Building Bridges Initiative.

The IEBC released a statement saying 3,188,001 Kenyans’ signatures were verified to support the BBI.

On December 10, 2020, the commission received signatures from the BBI promoters and in accordance to the constitution, set out on the journey to verify whether the initiative is supported by Kenyans.

The BBI court cases also state that the government cannot lead a constitutional change drive through the popular initiative route, while another party argues that there is no way the IEBC can verify signatures as there is no database for such information.

In this case, Thirdway Alliance wants the court to declare BBI unconstitutional.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga are confident in winning against the stoppage of the BBI by the High Court at the Court of Appeal.

The President said the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill was not meant to benefit him and Raila but was for the good of all Kenyans.

Just like Uhuru, Raila said the BBI proponents were still soldiering on as “nobody can stop the reggae".

The Head of State in May said BBI was not a ploy to benefit him and Raila but to facilitate cooperation and development, exuding confidence that with lawyers like Senior Counsel James Orengo, he was convinced that BBI will succeed at the Court of Appeal.

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