Raila: We have Plan B should the courts reject BBI

ODM leader Raila Odinga is one of the key proponents of BBI. [Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has said his team has a ‘Plan B’ should the higher courts reject BBI constitutional change push.

Speaking in Malindi, Kilifi County, on Tuesday, July 20, Odinga, who is a co-principal in the BBI push, said the quest for constitutional reform is “unstoppable”.

“Should the courts dismiss the BBI appeal, we have an alternative route to effecting the constitutional reforms,” Odinga said during the burial ceremony of Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Gideon Mung’aro’s uncle.

The opposition chief, however, did not reveal details of the said-option B, only re-emphasising that “BBI remains unstoppable, no matter what happens.”

His remarks come exactly one month to August 20, when the Court of Appeal will give its ruling on the petition outcome.

BBI proponents, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, filed petitions at the Appellate court, seeking to overturn the May 13 decision by the High Court that shot down the BBI push on grounds that President Kenyatta used the popular initiative route to initiate changes to the Constitution, an avenue preserved for the common mwananchi.

Kenyatta’s lawyers told a seven-judge Court of Appeal bench that the High Court erred in its decision to reject BBI on grounds that the Head of State can’t use the popular initiative option to change the Constitution.

In their submissions, they said Kenyatta can shed the President tag, and adopt a mwananchi one as he, just like other Kenyans, has a right to propose changes to the supreme law.

The entire process promoted by the BBI was “unconstitutional, null and void,” a five-member bench said in its judgement.

It also declared the steering committee appointed by Kenyatta to implement the changes “an unlawful entity,” and that the President violated the Constitution.

BBI, which had been approved by Parliament, proposed reintroducing the post of Prime Minister and two deputies. Its other provisions included allocating a greater share of the budget to the 47 counties and the appointment of an ombudsman to oversee the Judiciary.