Kivutha Kibwana moves to Supreme Court over BBI bill
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana has moved to the Supreme Court, seeking advisory opinion on issues regarding the proposed constitutional amendments through the BBI.
The Governor, in a statement issued on Monday afternoon sought to understand whether a bill containing a proposed amendment should only be limited to an amendment of a single issue of the constitution.
At the same time, he sought to understand whether national or county governments or state officers- acting in official capacity- are allowed by law to use public resources to finance or seek constitutional amendments.
According to Governor Kivutha, the constitution expects that amendments be limited to only one issue to ensure the authority to effect amendments is not abused and does not degenerate into a total overhaul.
At the same time, the Governor said clarity on the matter will enable members of the public to understand which issues are being amended so that they can freely exercise their will on whether to support or oppose the amendments.
Governor Kivutha argued that the clarification will enable county governments to effectively undertake civic education before the referendum.
While explaining the decision to move to the court, Governor Kivutha said packing too many issues in a bill to be amended will create confusion and affect the public’s ability to understand and effectively make the right choice.
For instance, the Governor noted that there are currently 78 different issues proposed for amendments which affect at least 13 of the 18 chapters of the Kenyan law.
According to him, this presents an uphill challenge to those charged with civic education and public participation.
On the issue of whether public officers should use state machinery to drum up support for the referendum, Governor Kivutha argued that it would be an unfair fight for others who do not have the luxury of state resources.
At the same time, there is the worry that those entrusted with public resources may instead channel them to other avenues for personal gain.