President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday faulted the Judiciary over a recent unfavourable ruling that stopped ‘BBI reggae’.
In his address during the 58th Madaraka Day celebrations at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu, the Head of State said the High Court didn’t consider the burden of choice while declaring the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process unconstitutional on May 13.
The five-judge bench of the High Court comprising of Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita, and Teresia Matheka had ruled that a popular initiative can only be initiated by the people and not the President, a ruling that caught many including the BBI proponents by surprise.
President Kenyatta said the court should have allowed Kenyans to exercise their will on the ballot (referendum).
“If the Court had considered the burden of choice the Judiciary would have asked its self various questions before dismissing the bill,” President Kenyatta said in a thinly veiled attack on the third arm of government.
He went on to cite the nullification of the August 2017 Presidential results a move that forced the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct a fresh election days after declaring him (Uhuru) winner.
The President said through such orders, “the Judiciary has tested our constitutional limits”.
“Our constitution is not a yoke around our neck but a mighty sword in our hands to break chains that limit us,” he added.
“Judiciary should be guided by the rule of law, that way political stabilisation will be easy to achieve.”
BBI is a product of the March 9, 2018, political truce between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Before the May 13 verdict, the BBI bill had been passed by the National Assembly and the Senate and was awaiting a presidential assent, after which Kenyans would have headed to a referendum before next year’s elections.
The BBI proponents have already filed a notice of appeal.
Newly sworn-in Chief Justice Martha Koome is among the dignitaries who attended the Madaraka Day celebrations in Kisumu.
Burundi President Everiste Ndayishimiye is among State guests present.
Other dignitaries present include Deputy President William Ruto, Odinga, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.