President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have been sent back to the drawing board after the BBI bill was declared unconstitutional.

On May 13, five high court judges ruled that the president, government or any state organ cannot initiate a popular initiative to amend the Constitution.

The bench comprised of Judges Prof Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita. Photo: the Star.

The bench also cited that the attempt to form new constituencies through the bill is beyond a BBI report.

In the ruling, the court said that it is not only the bill that is illegal but also the BBI Steering Committee which was chaired by the late Senator Yusuf Haji.

The president is not permitted to amend the constitution using popular initiative. Photo: BBI Commitee

The bench comprised of Judges Prof Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita said that parliament is the only organ with the power to initiate constitutional amendment.

“President cannot purport to directly initiate a constitutional amendment. He isn’t part of parliament. He has no power under the constitution to initiate changes under the constitution since parliament is the only state organ that can consider the effecting of constitutional changes. The president is not permitted to amend the constitution using popular initiative” read part of the ruling.


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This will now be a U-turn for the bill and as Kenyans would say; Reggae has been paused. Photo: State House/Twitter.

Contrary to the proponent’s argument that the initiative will unite the country, the bench said that it will achieve the opposite.

They said that divisions would emerge since the bill is being fronted by an individual, President Uhuru.

This ruling comes just after both the National Assembly and the Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass the amendment bill.

It was now headed for a referendum after passing through the two houses and also the 47 County Assemblies.

This will now be a U-turn for the bill and as Kenyans would say; Reggae has been paused.