NAIROBI, Kenya May 12 – The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Secretariat has made a passionate plea with the High Court to be cognizant of public mood ahead of Thursday’s key ruling that will determine the fate of the initiative to change the Constitution.
Joint Secretaries Junet Mohammed and Dennis Waweru said that they hope the court will allow Wanjiku to have a final say on the proposed constitutional amendment by way of a national referendum which want conducted in July.
“As the courts make their judgement, we urge them to especially pay attention to the voice of the people who have overwhelmingly spoken since the onset of the process. We trust that the courts will allow Wanjiku to have a final say on the proposed constitutional amendments- by way of a national referendum,” they said in a statement.
A five-judge bench presided by Justice Joel Ngugi was expected to render its judgment on the consolidated petitions against the BBI Bill Thursday, days after it was passed by Members of the National Assembly and the Senate.
The High Court had in February issued a temporary conservatory order restraining the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from subjecting the Constitution Amendment Bill to a referendum pending hearing and determination of the petition as consolidated by Turkana County Assembly, Thirdway Alliance and with six others.
Once the court gives the electoral body the green light to prepare the national referendum, within thirty days after IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati confirms to the President that the Bill has been approved in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the President shall assent to the Bill and cause it to be published.
As the BBI process approaches the final and most fundamental stage, Junet and Waweru who have identified themselves as the promoters of the Bill, urged the electoral body to get ready to conduct the vote in a fair, free and transparent manner.
“We challenge the electoral body to regain the trust of Kenyans by exhibiting professionalism, efficiency and neutrality as it embarks on discharging its mandate, and deliver a stellar referendum in July 2021,” they said in a statement sent to newsrooms.
The duo thanked the MPs for doing their part and promised to stage a popularisation campaign at an opportune time.
“The overwhelming endorsement of the BBI in both Houses is an indication that the people of Kenya have spoken emphatically, and in one voice. We, therefore, thank them for continually supporting the BBi in the various stages that the Initiative has gone through,” read the statement.
Waweru and Junet paid homage to Kenyans who “have kept the faith in the process even in the face of multiple challenges.”
“We want to urge you to keep the faith as we enter the homestretch in this process. To all Kenyans, let us join hands in laying the foundation for elevating this nation to greater heights,” they stated.