A five-judge Bench is today Thursday, May 13, expected to make a landmark ruling on whether the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 will proceed to a referendum or not.
This comes barely days after the National Assembly and the Senate gave the bill that seeks to amend the Constitution of Kenya 2010 a thumbs up.
Constitutional and Human Rights Deputy Registrar Njeri Thuku in a notice said the judgement will be delivered at 2:30 pm.
Justice Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jarius Ngaa, Janet Mulwa and Chacha Mwita are expected to make their judgement on seven petitions challenging the Building Bridges Initiative bill.
The bench had momentarily suspended the Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from preparing for a referendum pending hearing and determination of the case.
The petition was filed by Kenya’s Deputy President confidant economist David Ndii and four other activists, but it was later consolidated with seven other petitions.
During the hearing of the suit, the petitioners told the bench that the BBI process seeks to alter the basic structure of the Constitution arguing that the bill does not reflect the will of the people and the appropriate remedy is therefore being declared unconstitutional.
“Within 12 hours of publishing the amendment, they quickly started collecting signatures and then it was hurriedly taken to County Assemblies without verification of the signatures,” petitioners told the court.
According to article 257 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, two speakers of the bicameral parliament shall submit the bill to the president for forwarding to IEBC where the commission shall set a date for the plebiscite.
The Senate approved the BBI bill with a resounding 51 votes against 12, who voted in disapproval whereas only nominated senator Mary Seneta absconding from the process.
Last week, the national assembly overwhelmingly endorsed the bill with a record 224 members of parliament voting in support of the bill against 63 members who voted “NO” while only two legislators abstained.