Kenya’s Supreme Courts to rule on proposed Constitution changes

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Kenya’s Supreme Court on Thursday morning will rule on the constitutionality to change the country’s rule book.

The clamour for change to the country’s Constitution is being spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his political ally former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The impending ruling follows a ruling by the High Court and the Court of Appeal in 2021 that the process known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is unconstitutional, null and void.

The initiative according to Kenyatta and Odinga sought to end the “winner takes it all” elections process in the country, however, Deputy President William Ruto who campaigned against the proposed changes argued that it was unnecessary at a time when the economy was suffering under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

REPORT: Kenya’s Supreme Court hearings on Building Bridges Initiative

The Supreme Court ruling comes a few months ahead of the country’s General Elections due in August 2022 and although it may not have a direct effect on this year’s polls, its decision will likely shake the country’s political scene.

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.

Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal dashed the hopes of Kenyatta and Odinga by terming the move illegal. The rulings further stated that the President has no mandate in instituting changes to the constitution, indicating that can only be done through a popular initiative by the people.

Legal experts have said that the decision of the seven-judge bench led by Chief Justice Martha Koome will have an impact on the August polls.

Judiciary tested constitutional limit and overstepped its mandate: Kenyatta