BBI Bill sails through Senate with 51 ‘Yes’ votes
The Senate has passed the proposed constitutional amendments through the BBI Bill without amendments.
On Tuesday afternoon, 51 senators voted for the bill, while 12 senators voted against it.
Senator Isaac Mwaura, who had been officially kicked out of his seat by the Jubilee Party for indiscipline, did not participate in the exercise.
The vote comes less than a week after the National Assembly voted in favor of the Bill, with proponents forecasting a referendum in July or August.
The Senate speaker is expected to transmit the Senators verdict to President Uhuru Kenyatta, for onward transmission to the electoral body-IEBC.
Meanwhile, the decision on whether Kenya will hold a referendum as per the propositions by the BBI proponents now lies in the hands of five judges: Justice Chacha Mwita, Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jarius Ngaah and Janet Mulwa.
Petitioners who include economist David Ndii, Kenya National Union of Nurses, Thirdway Alliance, 254Hope, Justus Juma and Moraa Omoke had questioned the BBI process to amend the Constitution terming it a dangerous move.
In submissions made by lawyers representing the 8 groups, the five-judge bench was urged to use the court’s unlimited powers to dismiss attempts to amend the Constitution
Earlier in the day, the Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka in a letter to senators, Speaker Lusaka said that Parliament — which is tasked with representing the people’s will — cannot claim to go against the will of the people who have clearly expressed themselves.
“It is a path taken by citizens who recognize that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya, as stated in Article 1 of the Constitution, and that the people of Kenya may exercise their sovereign power directly or through democratically elected representatives,” he said.
He continued: “I am persuaded that a proper construction of the Constitution leads us to the conclusion that Parliament’s delegated power to exercise the sovereignty of the people by representing their will does not and cannot extend to subverting, altering or substituting that will with its own wisdom, where the people have unequivocally expressed themselves.”
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