Over the recent past; Kenyan media that includes social media and the mainstream media, has been filled with reactions regarding a judgement that was delivered by the high court, declaring the constitutional amendment bill 2020 illegal, null and void.
In the judgement delivered by a bench of five justices, the president’s name was ‘colored in blood’ as he was placed at the Centre of what appeared to be gross violation of the 2010 Kenyan constitution that he swore to defend, protect and preserve. According to the judgement, the president could be sued in his capacity.
This grand ruling attracted ridicule and praise in equal measure from Kenyans and other legal activists from across Africa with a majority opining that there is no point of suing president Kenyatta on grounds of violating the constitution. According to them, this would further divide the country into two bitter halves since there are proponents and opponents of the constitutional amendment bill that was widely publicized as Building Bridges Initiative.
Leading this conversation is Kenya’s renowned legal activist Okiya Omtatah who by 2020 had filed a case seeking the court to declare the constitutional amendment process illegal. According to Okiya Omtatah, “It is absolutely pointless to sue the president, suing the president will shift the primary focus and so the main problem will still remain unresolved.”
In bid to ensure that the constitutional amendment bill 2020 goes through, the government in conjunction with the opposition formed a taskforce that was trusted with the mandate to ensure that Kenyans are united and that violence after every 5 years came to end. Answers to the question as to whether Kenyans were divided and needed to be united or whether violence after every 5 years was caused by the very politicians who claimed to unite Kenyans still remain at large.
Serious questions were also raised about credibility of the document as those who publicized it strongly supported the famous purge of the deputy president and his team from the ruling party, something that prompted to formation of a different party, UDA, within the ruling jubilee party.
Supporters of the BBI constitutional amendment bill 2020 have it that; a bench of five justices cannot over turn a decision that was made by four million Kenyans who appended their signatures in support of the document. On top of that, a question still remains at large as to how the document was passed by the county assemblies, national assembly and finally the senate only to be disowned by a bench of five justices.
Analysts from across all the political divides mutually concur, that the BBI document was sugar-coated to suit the needs of the ruling class. In that, it adds extra administrative positions which according to them will provide another opportunity to accommodate leaders whom the 2010 constitution may bar from holding office due to term limits. Offices bared by this law include the office of the president and also office of the governor where by an individual is supposed to hold office to a maximum of ten years.
The process was also marred with allegations of corruption with members of the county assembly being promised ksh 2Million car grant just almost immediately when they were about to vote in their decision regarding BBI. Answers to the question as to why the ksh 2 million car grants were not provided between 2013 and 2020 still remains flimsy.
The national assembly was not left behind as there are allegations of corruption. It is on record that the members of the august house are repeatedly bribed a constant amount of $1000 in order to vote in a certain manner to influence certain decisions in favor of the government. The office of the leader of majority has been put on spot with these allegations and parliament has not come out to its defense.
Kenya’s Attorney General, Kihara Kariuki, through the solicitor general, has sworn to appeal the decision made by the high court on grounds that he was not satisfied by the ruling and that he seeks the apex court to stop the ruling till the case is properly heard and judged.
Under the last eight years of jubilee administration, the government has widely been accused of corruption with the president himself claiming that almost Ksh 2Billion was stolen daily by a deep rooted cartel in the government. Till recently, elected leaders from both the opposition and those in government continue to accuse the government of police brutality and harassment. Also, purged members of the jubilee party claim that the president abandoned the big four agenda that had a clear frame work on how the lives of Kenyans were to be improved and instead gave prevalence to the BBI, a document that has an outlook of a deal between two people since not even the opposition is talking about Kenya’s appetite for foreign loans that are almost hitting the ceiling heights.
Is BBI a scheme that is set to lay foundation to president kenyatta’s legacy on grounds that he tried to/united kenyans?