Kenya’s Court of Appeal to Deliver BBI Ruling on August 20

Appellate Court President Daniel Musinga has stated that the Court of Appeal will deliver its judgement on the lingering Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal on August 20, 2021. Musinga explained at the appeal hearing that the seven-judge-bench sitting on the case have made careful deliberations as the four-day hearing comes to a close.

Court has been hearing submissions by proponents and opponents in the case since Tuesday. They are seeking to have High Court’s judgement that nullified the BBI overturned or upheld.

“We deliberated on this date, looking at the nature of the matter and volumes before us,” Justice Musinga said.

For four days, top legal minds took turns to defend their arguments, treating Kenyans to a judicial firework centred around nine key issues: among the issues raised were public participation, IEBC quorum and the role of BBI promoters and initiators.

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Senior Counsel John Khaminwa urged the seven-judge-bench to dismiss President Uhuru Kenyatta’s application, on grounds that he had shown disrespect to the court by failing to appoint the six judges nominated by Judicial Service Commission.

“President Kenyatta has not come to the court with clean hands, therefore the court must refuse to hear him for deliberately refusing to swear in the six judges,” he said.

At the BBI Appeal Hearing on Thursday, team of lawyers challenged the appellants arguments, saying that the public was not involved in the BBI process since its initial stages.  

An interesting highpoint was during the submission of Isaac Aluochier, who said nine years ago, President Uhuru was charged to court in Mombasa and was found to have contravened chapter 6, article 77 yet refused to resign from KANU while remaining deputy prime minister, Finance –in contravention of the extant laws.

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“President Uhuru Kenyatta is our employee. When he goes off the rails we come here (referring to Court) to discipline him… he must do what we agreed to do in the Katiba,” Aluochier added.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Kindiki Kithure submitted that the push for Constitutional change was an unpopular initiative as claimed by the proponents, but a presidential initiative.

“The President has no right to initiate a popular initiative because this avenue of the popular initiative is reserved for private citizens including civil society, and is not available to State organs or State officers,” the lawyer argued during the BBI Appeal Hearing.

Lawyers for the BBI Secretariat told court that the sponsors of the popular initiative were Co-Chairs Junet Mohammed and Dennis Waweru and not President Uhuru, as had been ruled in the High Court judgement. 

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The case was heard by Court of Appeal President Daniel Musinga and Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Fatuma Sichale, Francis Tuiyott, Hannah Okwengu, Patrick Kiage, and Gatembu Kairu.

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