OKA: We respect the Court of Appeal verdict on BBI
Published on: August 21, 2021 08:00 (EAT)
The One Kenya Alliance (OKA) has now stated that it will abide by the appellate court’s decision, which upheld an earlier High Court ruling that declared the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) illegal. The alliance, which includes Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, the ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, and KANU’s Gideon Moi, said in a statement on Friday that it respects the rule of law. “As an alliance that cherishes the rule of law, we accept and respect the verdict of the Court of Appeal,” the statement issued on Friday reads. “BBI had rightfully diagnosed deep-seated and fundamental social, economic and political challenges that bedevil this country,” According to the alliance, the appellate court’s decision reflects Kenya’s democratic progress, which places a high value on people’s sovereign power. “We deeply acknowledge that the democratic foundation of our nation lies in its respect for the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and the principle of separation of powers,” the statement added. At the same time, OKA stated that the country still has the opportunity to hold a broad-based, honest, and people-driven dialogue on the pursuit of progressive proposals that necessitate legislative and policy interventions, such as strengthening Devolution through increased resources to the grassroots. The Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a ruling by the Kenyan High Court that declared the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendments unconstitutional. The BBI bill, popularly dubbed “the reggae” by one of its promoters and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, was halted by a 7-judge bench. The ruling, which lasted the better part of the day, saw each of the seven judges read their own verdict. The seven appellate court judges were: Daniel Musinga, Fatuma Sichale, Gatembu Kairu, Hannah Okwengu, Roselyn Nambuye, Patrick Kiage and Francis Tuiyott. The Court ruled by a vote of 5 that the Basic Structure Doctrine applies to the Kenyan Constitution. Justices Musinga, Gatembu, Kiage, Okwengu, and Tuiyot upheld the High Court’s decision, while Justices Nambuye and Shichale dissented. A majority the judges ruled that the President cannot initiate Constitutional change through popular initiative because he does not fall under category of the ‘general public’.