Senator Osotsi wants Supreme Court decisions reviewed

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

An ODM legislator is preparing a Bill in Parliament to amend the Constitution and provide for the right to review a decision of the Supreme Court, through a referendum.

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi in a letter to Senate Speaker Amason Kingi, gave notice that he would table the Bill which he claims will tame the apex court if it possibly goes rogue.

"I would like to introduce a Bill to amend the Constitution to provide for the right to review a decision of the Supreme Court through a referendum," reads the March 3, letter.

He noted that Article 1 of the Constitution expressly provides that "all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya" and that "the people may exercise their sovereign power either directly or through their democratically elected representatives."

"Drawing from the foregoing Article of the Constitution, I am convinced that where the people of Kenya are extremely dissatisfied by a decision of the Supreme Court, they have inherent power to review that decision," reads Osotsi's letter.

He wants Kenyans to also review decisions made during a presidential election petition, and the interpretation and application of the "Bill of Rights especially with regard to the family values that we hold as a nation." 

He said under the current framework of the Constitution, any person dissatisfied with the decisions made by the Executive or Bills passed by Parliament can approach the Judiciary for review.

Supreme Court judges during the BBI petition hearing. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

In his proposal, Osotsi says persons seeking to review a decision of the Supreme Court should demonstrate that level of dissatisfaction by collecting signatures of at least two million Kenyans in support of the move.

Thereafter, satisfied with the signatures, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will conduct a referendum on the matter.

"The purpose of this letter is to request for assistance in preparing the Bill for consideration by Parliament." 

The proposed Bill comes at a time when there is huge debate on the decision of the Supreme Court on the LGBTQ case.

Yesterday, Osotsi said currently sections of Kenyans were still aggrieved by the Supreme Court ruling on presidential elections and their opinion on LGBT.

"What happens when the Supreme Court goes rogue or makes an unpopular decision? Where do Kenyans seek recourse? That's why I am proposing that let the people decide through a plebiscite on any of such weighty matter(s)," said Osotsi.