Opposers of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) have told President Uhuru Kenyatta that he is too big to engage in popularising the bill as they fight to have the May 13, High Court judgment that quashed the bill upheld by the Court of Appeal.
Led by Law Society of Kenya, LSK, president Nelson Havi on Thursday, June 1, the lawyers told the seven-bench judge that the moment Uhuru became the President he ceased to be an ‘ordinary person’ and become a ‘state officer’ and thus not expected to initiate a plan to amend the constitution.
The lawyer further argued that if the president wanted to engage in the affairs of other ‘lesser mortals’ (ordinary citizens) he should have first handed over power.
“The president is not a mere mortal, but a superior. If he wants to engage in the affairs of lesser mortals (initiating and popularising amendments to the constituion), he must abdicate. He (President) cannot make a direct appeal to the people and join them in petitioning Parliament (to pass the BBI Bill),” Nelson Havi told the appellate judges in his submission.
Havi’s remarks were echoed by Third Way Alliance lawyer Elias Mutuma who argued that the Head of State should have done what he did in 2014 when he was going to The Hague.
“When the President was going to The Hague in 2014 he stripped himself of power and appointed his deputy as the acting President. He was not received at The Hague as the president,
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“He was received as normal citizen. He should do the same if he wants to initiate a popular initiative,” Mutuma told the judges.
Earlier on, lawyers of appearing for promoters of the BBI bill led by James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, said as much as Uhuru and Raila supported the BBI Bill, they were not the main promoters as judged by the High Court.
Otiende told the appellate court that the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 was sponsored by Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and former Dagoreti South MP Dennis Waweru.
“It is the co-chairs who collected and submitted them to IEBC through an intensive process. Without a doubt, the promoters of the initiate were the two gentlemen,” Amollo said.