President Kenyatta slams defiant Judges on BBI

President Uhuru Kenyatta and leader Raila Odinga with copies of the BBI report

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which was enacted to spearhead constitutional reforms through a referendum has been rejected twice by the courts

By The Weekly Vision Online

President Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have given up on any hopes left of rescuing the troubled Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). BBI was “born” through a political truce between him and opposition leader Raila Odinga in March 2018.

This followed a deeply divisive 2017 post-election violence that almost split the country down the middle. The Supreme Court had just thrown out President Kenyatta’s victory, ordering for a presidential repeat poll. The opposition chiefs were thrilled at the Supreme Court’s decision but refused to take part in the repeat poll, claiming the poll would still be “stolen” anyway.

But as the country hang on the brink of a precipice President Uhuru Kenyatta met Raila Odinga out of the blue, the two exchanged warm handshakes. It swiftly became clear that Kenya political landscape had just made a 360-degree turn-around! The game had changed completely.

Despite the final hurdle on the fate of BBI being before the Supreme Court, President Kenyatta appears to have written it off as a “lost cause”. In any case, the President’s minders argue there is no time left for a national referendum to amend the 2010 constitution before the August 2022 elections

The BBI which was enacted to spearhead constitutional reforms through a referendum was rejected twice by lower courts; it is now before the Supreme Court which is yet to make a final decision. The lower courts declared BBI unconstitutional despite Raila Odinga claiming “no one can stop reggae!” President Uhuru Kenyatta is now hitting at the Judges for “shortchanging” the people of Kenya. The President berated the Judges saying BBI would have increased revenue to counties from 15 per cent to 45 per cent.

Despite the final hurdle on the fate of BBI being before the Supreme Court, President Kenyatta appears to have written it off as a “lost cause”. In any case, the President’s minders argue there is no time left for a national referendum to amend the 2010 constitution before the August 2022 elections. According to President Kenyatta BBI was meant to end the culture of “winner takes it all” that led to violence after every election cycle. The Uhuru-Raila fronted BBI was bitterly opposed by deputy president William Ruto, indeed the DP celebrated the court’s verdict when it was thrown out. DP Ruto described BBI as “bad for the country”.

An angry president told off his deputy asking him to quit government instead of “fighting it from within”! With only eight months left before he leaves office, President Kenyatta appears resigned to fate.

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