Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi now says BBI failed because it was a ‘one-man choir’.
The Court of Appeal on Friday declared the constitution amendment bill, popularly referred to as the Building Bridges Initiative, unlawful dealing a death blow to the BBI proponents’ push to amend the constitution before the 2022 polls.
Speaking during a Sunday Church service at Friends Church on Ngong Road, Mudavadi claimed that failure by the BBI team to embrace criticism largely contributed to the failure of the initiative.
According to the ANC boss, the leaders involved refused to listen to each other and became a “one-man choir”.
As a result, Mudavadi noted, a lot of time and resources have gone to waste in the failed process initiated three years ago.
“Learn from the court ruling that when you do not listen to each other, when leaders refuse to listen to each other when they make themselves a one-man choir when leaders just decide that it’s their choir that swill sing and no one else should be listened to the consequences are very grave,” he said.
Taking a swipe at the political elite, Mudavadi, who once served as Vice President during President Daniel Arap Moi’s regime, said the common citizen “Wanjiku” was ignored in the BBI process.
“Unless everyone is involved, it will be a political elite document and not one that addresses challenges facing mwananchi,” he added.
Interestingly, Mudavadi was one of the leaders who supported the BBI process and has been vocal about its benefits to the common man.
In the ruling delivered on Friday, a majority of the seven-judge bench led by Court of Appeal President Daniel Musinga concurred with the High Court judgement delivered in May that the BBI process was not a popular initiative as it was initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his capacity as the Head of State and not ‘Wanjiku’.
“County Assemblies did not involve resident-citizens in their counties. Some Assemblies passed the Bill in a matter of days without involving the citizens,” Justice Patrick Kiage said.
President Kenyatta and his political nemesis-turned-ally, Raila Odinga, unveiled the initiative after striking a political truce on March 9, 2018, following a disputed 2017 presidential poll which caused unrest in some parts of the country.
The majority also ruled that the Basic Structure of the constitution is applicable in Kenya, further observing that it limits amendment power.
Making his submissions, Justice Musinga said that any amendment that alters the constitution fundamentally is not an ordinary constitutional amendment; it amounts to the dismemberment of the constitution.
The Court of Appeal issued a permanent injunction barring the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting a referendum or any other process touching on the amendment of the constitution through a popular initiative.
“A permanent injunction be and is hereby issued restraining IEBC from undertaking any processes required under Article 257(4) and (5) in respect of constitutional amendment bill 2020,” said Justice Daniel Musinga.