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Kenya’s Court reject President Kenyatta’s move to amend the constitution

The Apex court of Kenya has halted a move by president Uhuru Kenyatta to change the constitution with an aim to include the controversial Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The changes which some quarters especially the opposition party has described as an avenue to broaden the powers of the presidency might be of negative effect to the country.

The reform which has torn Kenyan political elites apart stipulates that there will be an expansion in the executive arm of government as well more seats in the parliament.

The broadening of the presidential powers has been a major point the opposition has been emphasizing on as election draws near in August.

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Although President Kenyatta had explained that the proposal of the change in the constitution would be a source of power sharing among the various interested ethnic groups that make up Kenya and will also bring an end to violence associated with elections, William Ruto, Kenyatta’s estranged deputy and now a foremost presidential candidate strongly argues the changes would lead to the emergence of a presidency allocated with too much power.

Kenya’s supreme court made a ruling which tallies with the findings of the lower courts, hence, upholding the judgment that the decision for any constitutional change rest exclusively on the citizens of Kenya and not the presidency.

William Ouko who is one of the judges stated that, “He cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds”. His statement emphasized on the illegality of the move.

Six of the seven judges who were ruling over the case issued a statement saying, “The president cannot initiate constitutional amendments or changes through popular initiative under article 257 of the constitution.”

In the previous year, Kenya’s court of appeal and the High court had ruled out the case for an amendment of the BBI but this year, the case was resubmitted to Kenya’s highest court of Law, the Supreme Court.

Kenya’s constitution was basically designed in 2010 to enshrine a feature that makes quite rigid in order to discourage the ruling class from tampering or amending it for their own benefit.

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