Kenya: Raila Urges Calm Following Bbi Invalidation, Backs Appeal

Nairobi — ODM Leader Raila Odinga has urged calm and restraint amid escalating personal attacks on judges who issued a judgement on Thursday invalidating a constititional review process he co-sponsored with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Orange Democratic Movement Leader issued the statement after meeting Jubilee Party Vice Chairperson David Murathe and trade unionist Francis Atwoli on Saturday.

The Former Prime Minister said promoters of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitution Amendment Bill will seek a second opinion from the Court of Appeal.

“Supporters of the Constitution Amendment Bill, including myself, have been disappointed by the High Court ruling. I urge restraint in the public commentary about the ruling,” he stated.

Odinga added: “We have learnt that democracy is about peaceful and respectful contestation, whether we agree or disagree with each other.”

Odinga also asked his supporters to treat other Kenyans with dignity as BBI promoters seek to overturn multiple decrees by the constitutional court that punctured the process of amending the Constitution (2010) to among other things expand the national executive and create seventy additional constituencies.

A five-judge bench of Justices Prof Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita and Matheka Mumbua termed the process as unconstitutional, singling out President Uhuru Kenyatta for overreach.

The court faulted promoters for attempting to usurp powers apportioned to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on delimitation of constituency boundaries.

In its ruling, the court declared the basic structure of the constitution could only be amended by invoking a four-phased process entailing, “civic education; public participation and collation of views; Constituent Assembly debate; and ultimately, a referendum.”