High Court annuls BBI referendum process

The High Court yesterday annulled the BBI referendum process throwing the future of the initiative into uncertainty.

Judges Prof Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita said President Uhuru Kenyatta does not have the power to directly initiate constitutional amendment under the law since parliament is the only organ with that power.

If that is allowed it will mean he would be granted the role of promoter and referee, the judges noted.

He can however through the AG use Parliament to initiate the process, they said.

“It is our finding that popular initiative is a power reserved for Wanjiku neither the president or any other state organ can utilize article 257 to amend the constitution,” said the judges.

The petitioners had further argued that the BBI referendum bill, was not the will of the people.

However stating it was based on the changing political and socio-economic interests. 

The court held that the BBI secretariat and steering committee, failed to provide critical information to the public.

This, as outlined in the procedures to amend the constitution through a popular initiative.

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