Kenya President's Constitution Change Bid 'Unlawful'

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a plan by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to change the Constitution was unlawful. Justice Gatembu Kairu said the power to change the Constitution lay with the citizens, not the political elite, writes Mohammed Yusuf for Voice of America.

"Abolishing or abrogating provisions of the Constitution in such a way to alter its foundation and structure is therefore not envisaged under Chapter 16 of the Constitution," Kairu said. "That is a preserve of people exercising sovereign power, which belongs to them in accordance with the Article 1 of the Constitution."

The legality of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative was examined by a seven-judge bench chaired by Justice Daniel Musinga.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said ahead of the ruling that he would respect the verdict issued by the court. The ruling is expected to have a significant sway on Deputy President William Ruto, ODM boss Raila Odinga and the One Kenya Alliance leaders' presidential campaign strategies.

Allies of Deputy President William Ruto and Amani National Congress (ANC) boss Musalia Mudavadi now want Kenyatta and Odinga to refund funds used in the flopped constitutional change bid.

InFocus

Citizens holding Kenyan flag (file photo).

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