Written by on 24 August 2021

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) got a blow, after a seven-judge bench of the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling and declared the BBI as unconstitutional, now the politics are taking a turn.

President Uhuru Kenyatta says the courts were misguided in their ruling that declared the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2020 popularly known as the BBI, null and void.

Despite the judgment leaving BBI supporters in stitches and mixed up, the Head of State said he respects the verdict, adding that the court loss was not personal for him.

“I’m more than happy to serve out my time and finish my program. I believe this is also part of my agenda to be able to bring people together and ensure we have a peaceful, stable country. Unfortunately, the courts have ruled the way they have ruled and I believe they have been highly misguided in that process. Unfortunately, we have had politicians, for short-term political gain, who have deviated from why we had BBI to it being an issue of competition,” said Kenyatta.

The court decision has led to the head of state, Uhuru Kenyatta asking Deputy President William Ruto, who is against the BBI bill to resign from the government if he is dissatisfied with its operations.

“I have an agenda that I was elected on, and that work must continue, and it would really be the honorable thing that if you’re not happy with it that you would actually step aside and allow those who want to move on, and then take your agenda to the people. Which is what happens in any normal democracy, because you can’t have your cake and eat it,” he said. 

On his side, Deputy President William Ruto took to Twitter to celebrate BBI’s fall saying, “God, our heavenly Father, has come through for Kenya and stopped the coalition of the known, the mighty, and the powerful from destroying our Constitution,”.

Ruto kept on noting that, “Our God, help the alliance of the unknown, the jobless, the hustlers and struggling farmers to now engineer our economy from bottom up.”

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on his part said it was time to move on, and that parties that were involved in the process will each make their own decisions on how to proceed going forward.

“It is likely that the Court of Appeal ruling is not the end of the conversation and the parties involved will each make their own decisions on how to proceed from the decision that has been delivered today. But we feel that we have to move on,” Raila said.

Now leaders have held on different opinions on whether to continue with the initiative to the Supreme Court or leave the lights fade.

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi noted that the party is satisfied with the court ruling and that the three years spent pushing to change the constitution has been a waste of time and resources.

Mudavadi said it unless everyone is involved, the aim of amending the constitution will be a success and now it is time to shift focus on other pressing matters like reviving the economy and managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The spirit of the Constitution is bigger than all of us. We vested the power to interpret it in the courts. The judges have pronounced themselves, let us respect the judgment and focus on the revival of the economy as we foster National Cohesion,” he said.

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has also joined Mudavadi in urging respect for the Court of Appeal judgment.

“It is therefore incumbent that we respect the Court of Appeal decision on the matter and urge that we return to nation-building, strengthening our institutions as we create a better future for generations to come,” stated Musyoka.

Ford Kenya leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula said that “The second-highest court has passed its verdict on BBI. We must respect it even where there is disagreement. Therein lies the foundation and cost of our democracy. The Supreme Court is lying in wait for any other/further legal challenge,” said Wetangula.

Now since the dance of the reggae has been hit hard by the court, what remains is whether the BBI initiators will move to the Supreme Court or to parliament.

By Joseph Obwoge

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