The High Court in Kenya unanimously blocked President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which was dubbed as aiming at ending ethnic tensions like those that engulfed the country in the 2008 post-election violence.
The BBI had culminated into the preparation for the constitutional amendment that would take place next year in a referendum for the constitution to evenly distribute power to both winners and losers in presidential elections.
The five judges yesterday 13 May 2021 declared the initiative unconstitutional, shedding some light on the possible impeachment of President Uhuru Kenyatta for violating the Kenyan constitution.
“Mr. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has contravened the Constitution by initiating and promoting a constitutional change process contrary to the provisions of the Constitution” according to the court ruling seen by Kigali Law Tidings.
“Court proceedings can be instituted against the President … in respect of anything done or not done contrary to the Constitution” the court added in a declaration that paves way for impeachment.
The judges further stressed that the Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s verification of the five million signatures in the constitution amendment process in 2020 was unlawful.
“Procedures for the Verification of Signatures in Support of Constitutional Amendment Referendum are illegal, null and void because they were made in the absence of legal authority” the court declared.
“A permanent injunction is hereby issued restraining the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission from undertaking any processes to amend the Kenyan Constitution” the ruling added.
In early 2018, former political rivalries opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta proved to be burying their divisive politics with what some called the “camera kiss and handshake”, announcing the initiative that would unite the nation for once and for all.
It was a soothing moment for a country scoured by divisive politics especially in post-election days as seen in 2008 when over 1500 lives were lost in bloody violence and thousands displaced.
The International Crimes Court Summoned President Kenyatta on crimes against Humanity and had to stand before The Hague court before the charges were dropped in 2015.
The BBI intended to create 70 constituencies and about 300 new lawmakers would be indirectly added to parliament.
These changes, among others in the BBI, allegedly would level the ground for both the winners and losers in presidential elections and eventually reconcile the nation.