BBI HURDLES

BBI will not cure the culture of impunity, ethnic division - ICJ Kenya

ICJ Kenya said the amendments are unnecessary, rejects it in totality.

In Summary

• According to ICJ Kenya, the current social, economic, and legal concerns raised in the report do not require substantive constitutional reform measures.

• It has further said that there are a number of lingering challenges, including the Covid- 19 pandemic which should be prioritised.

International Commission for Jurists Kenya Chapter chairman Kelvin Mogeni talks to the press at Panafric hotel on BBI and proposed amendments on January 14, 2020.
International Commission for Jurists Kenya Chapter chairman Kelvin Mogeni talks to the press at Panafric hotel on BBI and proposed amendments on January 14, 2020.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Kenyan Chapter has expressed its dissatisfaction with the recommendations contained in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

ICJ Kenya section chair Kelvin Mogeni said the commission does not support the push for the constitutional amendment, the recommendations, and proposals contained in the BBI Report and the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

“We posit that the BBI report does not lay out clearly defined arguments for substantive constitutional questions as response measures to the challenges raised therein… the proposed constitutional amendments will not be the magic bullets to the current social, economic, and legal concerns that affect the Kenyan people,” Mogeni said.

In a statement on Thursday, Mogeni said that the decision has been reached after interrogating the contents of the BBI report and the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

President Uhuru Kenyatta andODM party leader Raila Odinga received the BBI report at the new Kisii State Lodge.
President Uhuru Kenyatta andODM party leader Raila Odinga received the BBI report at the new Kisii State Lodge.
Image: PSCU

“As a Commission of Jurists, our considered view is that the proposed amendments take away the gains contained in the Constitution 2010 and undermine the rule of law,” Mogeni said.

He added that “from our analysis and monitoring of the public discourse, we conclude that the BBI process has been characterised by general mistrust, divergent political and contested interests, a failed attempt to inculcate a people-driven and people-centric approach which ought to align with principles of the rule of law, democracy, and human rights.”

The chairman added that there is no guarantee that the proposed constitutional amendments will either address the underlying social-political concerns, entrenched marginalization, or historical injustices.

“ICJ Kenya concludes that the issue of concern is that the Constitution has neither been accorded adequate time to organically shape the legal, political, economic, and social landscape nor given impetus to reorient Kenya's political culture fulfilling positive state obligations and rights of the citizenry,” he said.

According to ICJ Kenya, the current social, economic, and legal concerns raised in the report do not require substantive constitutional reform measures.

It has further said that there are a number of lingering challenges, including the Covid- 19 pandemic which should be prioritised.

“Whereas ICJ Kenya support calls for a unified Kenya, we reject the BBI proposals on constitutional amendments in totality and reiterate that the amendments are unnecessary…what the Constitution 2010 requires is meaningful and deliberate implementation.”