Kenyans on edge as Appeals Court rules on BBI referendum push

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have both been keen on amending the 2010 constitution to create new offices that will apparently “end the winner take it all” culture

By The Weekly Vision Online

Kenyans are this week holding their breath as the court of appeal bench of 6 judges rule on whether to allow the BBI motion to proceed or not. A favourable ruling this Friday allowing the proposed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to proceed, would be devastating for deputy president William Ruto.

But a decision trashing BBI would equally be a crushing blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his “handshake” ally opposition leader Raila Odinga. Either way, there will be losers and winners with a widely envisaged national referendum becoming time-barred.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have both been keen to amend the 2010 constitution to create new offices that will apparently “end the winner take it all” culture that triggers cyclic post-election violence each election year. But Ruto dismisses this saying a true democracy must have the “ruling party” and an “opposition” with clearly defined roles. In 2017 Kenya came close to the brink of political disaster after chief justice David Maraga overturned President Uhuru’s victory.

The Appeal Bench will be ruling on an appeal against a High Court judgment that threw out the “BBI baby with the bathwater”! The court had ruled that the entire process was unconstitutional, therefore “null and void”

David Maraga silenced pro-Uhuruto celebrating crowds in Central Kenya and Rift Valley as he trashed the vote count. While the fire-spitting Maraga is long gone, having retired, his shadow still stalks the corridors of justice. Even with Kenya’s first female chief justice Martha Koome at the helm.

Koome a former civil rights firebrand for women rights in FIDA is widely expected to be more accommodating to the executive than Maraga ever did. This is by her ethnic origins and regional political inclinations that have always been a driving force in Kenya’s politics. Although she recently crossed swords with the executive when judges were arrested and detained over graft claims, many say she is unlikely to follow in Maraga’s shoes.

The Appeal Bench will be ruling on an appeal against a High Court judgment that threw out the “BBI baby with the bathwater”! The court had ruled that the entire process was unconstitutional, therefore “null and void.” This shocking ruling stunned President Uhuru and Raila Odinga who has no love lost for the judiciary. Both men are optimistic about winning the court battle.

The Appellate court judges include Roselyn Nambuye, Hannah Okwengu, Patrick Kiage, Gatembu Kairu, Fatuma Sichale and Francis Tuyoitt. BBI biggest opponent deputy president William Ruto and his camp have widely been dismissed as a selfish move by a section of leaders to create new positions for themselves.

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