ODM leader Raila Odinga has expressed his disappointment with the judgement of the High Court, which declared the entire Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process illegal, but warned politicians against personalised attacks against the court.
Speaking for the first time since the court delivered the verdict, the former Prime Minister likened the judgement to moments of danger and peril that have characterised Kenya’s struggle for constitutional reforms.
“I urge that we restrain from personalised attacks on the court and its members. We may disagree with the court but we must respect its ruling and its freedom to exercise its judgment as it understands the legal and constitutional matters before it,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
A five-judge bench ruled on Thursday that President Uhuru Kenyatta acted in excess of his powers when he initiated the process of amending the Constitution through the BBI.
In the hard-hitting ruling, the judges singled out multiple legal blunders that President Kenyatta committed in his desire for law reforms.
They said the head of State made a fatal legal mistake in attempting to change the Constitution through a popular initiative, an avenue that is not available to him.
“The President cannot be an initiator of, and an umpire in, amendment of the Constitution,” ruled justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita.
Accusations against the judges
Some of the judges on the bench have come under attack, with a section of the political class accusing them of throwing out the Bill to spite the President.
In addition, the BBI Secretariat, which said it will appeal the ruling, accuses them of engaging in partnership with the civil society and a section of politicians who have been opposed to the process.
Pokot South MP David Pkosing said the judgement was motivated by the President’s refusal to appoint 41 judges to both the High Court and the court of Appeal after they were nominated by the Judicial Service Commision after intensive interviews.
Justices Ngugi and Odunga are some of the victims of the President’s refusal as they were to be promoted to the Court of Appeal.
They were among the 11 persons whose appointment the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recommended but President Kenyatta is yet to give his nod.
Mr Pkosing, who also chairs the parliamentary Transport committee, said the two judges should have recused themselves as, according to him, they were conflicted. He said the bench delved into matters the petition never touched on.
“A judge cannot rule on a matter like Chapter Six [of the Constitution], that was not sought by the petitioners. It is impossible to accept the High Court ruling as objective rule of law, never. It was too personal… Was the president on trial? The ruling was an attempted coup in a civilian democracy like ours. It must be reversed immediately,” he said.
While disagreeing with the observation, Mr Odinga maintained the position by the State Law Office, which has indicated its desire to seek a review of the judgement in the Court of Appeal.
“We will move to the Court of Appeal to present our case as to why we think the High Court did not render the right verdict. We will do so with sobriety and with respect for our judges and courts,” Mr Odinga, noting that the ultimate aim of the BBI promoters is to strengthen, not undermine, the judiciary.
Singer Rufftone Joins Ruto’s UDA, to vie for a Nairobi Seat
Summary; (Rufftone declared his intrest after he joined Dp Ruto in his campaign in Nairobi)
Rufftone is set to vie for Nairobi senatorial seat in the 202 polls.
Speaking on his first public address, the singer was grateful for the massive reception he received from Nairobians when he rose to speak.
” Wasee wanasema Rufftone toka internet ingia ground. Jana ground imekubali videadly (People ere saying that I stop campaigning on the internet and get to the ground and hunt votes. Yesterday the reception was heroic).
Thank You Jesus for giving me favour with people. It took your hands and mercy lord. Thank you, Jesus,” the singer wrote on his Instagram.
His entry into the UDA party means that he will have to battle it out with Lawyer Karen Nyamu.
At the same time, he joins a list of celebrities eyeing elective seats in 2022 polls.
Others include Kiss 100 radio presenter Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o who is aspiring to be Lang’ata MP.
Omtatah files petition to block Ruto’s presidency
In the petition on Monday, Omtatah says that any public officer, including a sitting deputy president, a sitting governor, a sitting deputy governor, a sitting MP, and a sitting MCA must vacate office before nomination as a presidential candidate.
“That a declaration that any public officer, including a sitting deputy president, a sitting governor, a sitting deputy governor, a sitting MP, and a sitting MCA is not qualified for nomination as a presidential candidate.”
Omtatah added that a declaration is issued that a sitting president, a sitting deputy president, a sitting governor, and a sitting deputy governor must vacate office before they can be elected to elective positions other than the ones they hold.
The electoral commission unveiled the 2022 election timeliness, requiring civil servants seeking to run for office to resign by February 9, next year.
The law requires that public officers seeking elective seats resign six months to a general election.
According to the IEBC’s Election Operations plan, nominations for presidential candidates will take place between May 30 and June 10 next year.
The second campaign began from December 6 until December 20
Senator Malala, ANC party SG in heated exchange over DP Ruto’s Eldoret rally
In a statement, the youthful politician stated that he did not attend the rally on behalf of Amani Nation Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi as widely claimed on social media.
Malala argued that as an elected leader, his responsibility is to lead his people to the right direction before making any decision ahead of the August 9 General Elections.
“In my address, I did not say that I was representing the ANC party or the party leader. As an elected leader, my role is to propel our members towards forming the next government.
Anyway, our new SG is still under orientation,” Malala wrote on Twitter.
The Senator issued the statement after ANC through its Secretary-General Simon Gakuru distanced itself from Ruto’s rally, denying sending any representative.
“The ANC party would like to disassociate itself with the activities taking place at Eldoret Sports Club Grounds where UDA Party is holding its rally.
The official party position should only come from our party leader or the secretary-general,” Gakuru said in a Tweet
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