Musalia Mudavadi: BBI was for the political elite, not mwananchi

Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi at Friends Church on Ngong Road on August 22, 2021. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi has said the three years spent in the push to change the constitution has been a waste of time and resources.

Mudavadi went on, "Unless everyone is involved, it will be a political elite document and not one that addresses challenges facing mwananchi."

He was speaking at Friends Church on Ngong Road where he cautioned that the issue of the independence of the constitution is paramount for development.

Mudavadi praised the Court of Appeal decision to throw out the Building Bridges Initiative.

He said leaders involved refused to listen to each other and became a "one-man choir".

"The consequences are grave." 

He said the government's focus now should be on job creation and strengthening the economy.

Leaders across the country have expressed mixed reactions after the Court of Appeal on Friday declared the Building Bridges Initiative unconstitutional.

The debate seemed to continue being between supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his BBI partner Raila Odinga, on one hand, and the allies of Deputy President William Ruto on the other.

“I had warned them but they did not listen. The process was surrounded by hubris and chest-thumping, which made actors ignore its fundamental flaws. The president should sack his advisors who misled him,” said Murang'a Senator Irungu Kangata.

Landmark 10-hour verdict

The push to change the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) ended in a landmark decision by seven judges of the Court of Appeal that declared the process illegal.

Appellate judges Daniel Musinga, Roseline Nambuye, Hannah Okwengu, Patrick Kiage, Gatembu Kairu, Fatuma Sichale and Francis Tuiyott declared that BBI was an illegal attempt to alter the structure of the Constitution that cannot be subjected to a referendum.

Just like their colleagues at the High Court, the judges took their time to deliver what would be remembered as the judgment of the year, which defined the political activities a year to the General Election.

After more than 10 hours in which each of the seven judges opted to give their decision, Justice Musinga gave the final verdict of the majority decisions, with Justice Sichale as the only dissenting voice in departing from the High Court decision.

The judges were unanimous that the High Court orders condemning Uhuru ought to be reversed. They set aside High Court orders that the President had breached the Constitution for failing to grant him an opportunity to argue his case.

They also unanimously dismissed all the cross-appeals, including one filed by the Kenya National Union of Nurses and another seeking to force the President and the BBI task force to refund money used in the initiative.