Anxiety for Ruto, Raila as BBI ruling starts at Supreme Court

The high-stakes apex court judgment could dramatically alter the political landscape.

In Summary

• Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver its judgment on seven issues framed during appeals hearings. Appeals Court declared BBI unconstitutional.
• Key among issues is the Basic Structure Doctrine and whether it applies in Kenya.

Chief Justice Martha Koome addressing advocates on February 28
Chief Justice Martha Koome addressing advocates on February 28

The Supreme Court is this morning expected to deliver its ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

Chief Justice Martha Koome, the President of the Supreme Court, will deliver the verdict after all the judges have read their rulings.

The other six judges comprise Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justices Isaac Lenaola, Smokin Wanjala, Ibrahim Mohammed, Njoki Ndungu and William Ouko. 

BBI appeal hearing at the Supreme Court ended on January 20 after it was heard for three days, from January 18.

The case was filed at the apex court after the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court ruling which invalidated the initiative. 

Koome says that the importance of the 2010 Constitution cannot be underestimated and that many people sacrificed to draft and pass it. 

The CJ recalls three recent amendment attempts via popular initiatives - the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2015, Punguza Mizigo and the BBI initiative. Notes that the first two failed. 

Martha Koome recalls the handshake that led to the formation of the BBI.

She notes that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio La Umoja Presidential aspirant Raila Odinga announced that they were keen on uniting the nation. 

"The High Court identified issues for determination and came up with the judgement which was appealed at the Court of Appeal," CJ reads, noting that eight suits against BBI were filed at the High Court. 

Seven issues for contention filed at the Supreme Court will be ruled on today.

These include, whether the President can be sued, whether the basic doctrine applies in Kenya, the quorum of the IEBC, the constitutional rights of the President as a citizen, and whether a popular initiative, can be initiated by the President. 

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