Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled that attempts to amend the current constitution in a process spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his political ally former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are unconstitutional.
The apex court judges agreed with the high court and Court of Appeal rulings that the process also known as Building Bridges Initiative – which sought to amend the constitution through a popular initiative – was illegal.
The proposed amendments sought to create more government positions including that of a Prime minister and two deputy prime ministers, as well create an additional 70 constituencies.
The changes were to be carried out through a referendum. Six out of the seven judges dashed the hopes of Kenyatta and Odinga by ruling that the President has no mandate in instituting changes to the constitution. Indeed one of the judges, Justice William Ouko said “The entire process was irredeemably flawed.”
While another Justice Mohammed Ibrahim faulted President Kenyatta’s role in the process indicating that Kenya cannot have the president playing the role of an umpire who is expected to be neutral and act in the interest of the nation in a process where he is a player advocating for his own personal interest and agenda.