BBI HURDLE

Ndii leads activists in Supreme Court suit on Constitution amendments

Uhuru's push to amend the constitution and governance structure runs into a hurdle.

In Summary

• Economist David Ndii, Jerotich Seii, James Ngondi, Wanjiku Gikonyo and Ikal Angelei want their case to be certified as urgent.

• They also want the matter to be immediately sent to Chief Justice David Maraga for the constitution of a three-judge bench to hear it.

President Uhuru Kenyatta reads the BBI report.
President Uhuru Kenyatta reads the BBI report.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta's push to amend the constitution and governance structure has run into a hurdle after activists filed a case challenging it.

Economist David Ndii, Jerotich Seii, James Ngondi, Wanjiku Gikonyo and Ikal Angelei want their case to be certified as urgent.

 

They also want the matter to be immediately sent to Chief Justice David Maraga for the constitution of a three-judge bench to hear it.

 

They have sued the chief government advisor, the Speaker of National Assembly Justin Muturi, Speaker of Senate Ken Lusaka and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

The move could deal a blow for Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga who are keen to push for the amendments through the Building Bridges  Initiative.

Last month, the former Prime Minister told the Star that the BBI is on course, dispelling fears the initiative might have been thwarted by the  Covid-19 pandemic.

The final report by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji's team has been ready for the past three months.

Raila's statement was a strong indication the Constitution might be reviewed in line with BBI recommendations before the 2022 General Election.

That could well mean a referendum to change the governance structure.

He said there is sufficient time to implement the BBI recommendations despite the process being behind schedule by two or three months.

The President in June maintained that the country is ripe for constitutional change to address challenges bedevilling the country including ethnic animosity and exclusion.

"The primary reason for BBI is to ensure future generations are not going through the kind of things we have seen. We want to make our politics mature and inclusive. We went across the country to collect views of what Kenyans want us to do to address the underlining causes of ethnic tensions," he said the during a virtual meeting with the Atlantic Council Africa Centre on strengthening US-Africa trade. 

In a strong pitch for the law change, Uhuru said after 10 years, there is need for a review of the Constitution which he said is not cast in stone. 

"The primary reason for BBI is to ensure future generations are not going through the kind of things we have seen. We want to make our politics mature and inclusive. We went across the country to collect views of what Kenyans want us to do to address the underlining causes of ethnic tensions," he told the forum.

In a strong pitch for the law change, Uhuru said after 10 years, there is need for a review of the Constitution which he said is not cast in stone. 

“The Constitution should be able to address people's problems. There are areas we want to be reviewed and that is the meaning of a referendum."