Members of County Assembly drawn from the 47 Counties have condemned the High Court judgement that nullified the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill.
However, in a statement issued on Sunday, May 16, in Nairobi, the county legislators expressed their disappointment with the judgement.
They said the move takes away the direct sovereignty of over three million Kenyans who appended their signatures for constitution review as well as over 43 county assemblies that passed the bill.
They further accused the bench of halting Constitution amendments saying the Constitution of Kenya 2010 needs to be reviewed as it only favors judiciary and civil societies, leaving out the majority of Kenyans.
“The judgement does not acknowledge that a Constitution is a living document that must be responsive to the needs and desires of a society at any given time,
“The judges boldly and without any solid analysis took away the sovereign powers of the people as enshrined in Article 1 (1),” they said.
Judges Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita declared the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 unconstitutional, null and void.
The judges, while nullifying the BBI bill, said that the bill was initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake counterpart Raila Odinga.
They argued that the Head of State or any other state organ does not have powers to initiate a popular initiative.
“It is our finding that popular initiative is a power reserved for Wanjiku. Neither the president nor any other state organ can utilize article 257 to amend the constitution. Parliament is the only organ with the power to initiate constitutional amendment,” the judges said.
The judgement has since elicited sharp reactions from both promoters of the bill as well as anti-BBI who have vowed to challenge the same at Court of Appeal.
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, who has been opposing the constitution review plan, has since asked the promoters of the bill to accept the judgement and embark on economic recovery and fight against effects COVID-19 pandemic on the nation.