ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga on Saturday called upon Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) supporters to refrain from attacking the High Court and the five judges who declared the constitutional amendment process as null and void.
Although the former prime minister acknowledges that the ruling disappointed him too, Raila maintains that the courts should be respected even when they deliver rulings that are adverse to “our interests.”
“Our constitution provides the right of appeal of a decision with which one feels aggrieved. That is precisely what we intend to do with the ruling of the five-judge bench on the BBI Bill.
“We will calmly and respectfully move to the Court of Appeal to present our case as to why we think the High Court did not render the right verdict. We will do so with sobriety and with respect for our judges and courts. Ultimately, our objective is to strengthen, not undermine, the judiciary,” says Raila.
BBI process dealt a major blow
The High Court in Nairobi on Thursday dealt a severe blow to the Constitutional of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020.
A five-judge bench comprising of George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita, Janet Mulwa and Joel Ngugi effectively killed the constitutional amendment process, popularly known as BBI.
In a hard-hitting ruling read for over five hours, the process and content of the document were declared as unconstitutional. So was the BBI steering committee, the actions of IEBC in verification of signatures and the composition of the Commission.
Nevertheless, Raila says that the constitutional journey the country has taken and the struggles in search of democracy entails a peacefull and respectful contestation, “whether we agree or disagree with each other.”
“This struggle continues. Our destination is a place where the potential of each and every one of us – no matter our gender, ethnicity, race, religion, region, identity, origin, or social status – is a full member of our society. That is what BBI is about. BBI is a project of opportunity, equity, and equality for all,”adds Raila, who together with President Uhuru Kenyatta initiated the BBI process after their handshake in March 9 2018.