Orengo says he is confident appeal against High Court ruling on BBI Bill will succeed


Orengo says he is confident appeal against High Court ruling on BBI Bill will succeed

Siaya Senator James Orengo has exuded confidence that the appeal against the High Court ruling on BBI Bill will be successful.

He asked Kenyans to prepare for referendum opining that next week, the country will be going into a very critical time in its political history.

“We have a strong case that will help to overturn the High Court ruling,” he said during the burial of former South East Alego Ward MCA Joshua Owiti Osuri in Alego/Usonga constituency on Saturday.

He noted that they will immediately embark on campaigns for constitutional changes after they are through with the judicial process.

Senator Orengo impressed on Kenyans not to surrender the country’s leadership to unscrupulous individuals who according to him “will bring dishonor to the institution of the presidency once the new constitution is put in place.”

Orengo was flanked by ODM party’s General Secretary Edwin Sifuna who said the party will not abdicate its responsibility of fighting for democracy and the rights of Kenyans.

Sifuna, who accused a section of senior government officials of using the police to frustrate ODM leaders during the just concluded Bonchari by elections, said such officials must step aside from their public offices and join politics.

He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to crack the whip on any of his government officials who are enemies of the ‘handshake’.

On May 14, the High Court declared the BBI-driven Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 unconstitutional.

The case arose from eight petitions that had been lodged at the High Court and cited 17 issues.

Some of the pleadings of the petitioners included whether BBI satisfied the constitutional interpretation of a popular initiative, whether the referendum will have one question or multiple questions, and who has the mandate of creating constituencies among others.

The five-judge bench of Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita ruled that an amendment can only be initiated by a Parliamentary or popular initiative, not the President.

The judges also faulted the president for failing to actualise the constitutional requirement on public participation.

They accused him of coming short of violating a law he vowed to defend when he took his oath of office as the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya.

The court also found that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had the sole role of determining boundaries and that the BBI proposal for the creation of 70 new constituencies was against the law and went against the principle of public participation.

Subsequently, the court barred the IEBC from going ahead with holding a referendum on the BBI Bill.

“It is our finding that popular initiative is power reserved for ‘Wanjiku’ neither the president or any other state organ can utilise Article 257 to amend the Constitution,” ruled the judges..

“Kenyans intended that the essence of constitutional order they were bequeathing themselves in 2010 would only be changed in exercise of primary constituent power that is through civic education, public participation, constitutional assembly plus a referendum and not through secondary constituent power which is through public participation and referendum only.”

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