MCAs' caucus says BBI ruling puts Kenya on 'treacherous path'

MCAs' caucus says BBI ruling puts Kenya on 'treacherous path'

Caucus of MCAs chairman Victor Mutuma addresses a press conference on the High Court ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), flanked by ward representatives from all the 47 counties, at Serena Hotel in Nairobi on May 16, 2021.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

A caucus of MCAs has criticised the High court ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), arguing it will erode gains in the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020.

The assembly leaders drawn from all the 47 counties has urged the Court of Appeal not to adopt the judgment in case of an Appeal.

According to caucus chairman, Meru County's majority leader Victor Mutuma, the appellate court should overturn the verdict as it is against the spirit of devolution.

“If adopted, Kenyans will suffer as the share of county funds will remain at 15 per cent of national revenue instead of the proposed 35 percent,” the MCAs said at Serena Hotel in Nairobi on Sunday.

They added that the 1,450 wards in the country also stand to lose the proposed Ward Development Fund.

“There will never be equitable distribution of county resources as the population parameter will never matter in resource-sharing, and assemblies will never be financially independent hence will not oversee the county executive properly,” they stated.

They also noted that the Senate will be deprived of its robust oversight role when it comes to revenue allocation.

Read: Cheers, flak as split over BBI widens

Also read: BBI ruling has vindicated me, says Senator Irungu Kang'ata

"Hopeless path"

Mr Mutuma further said the BBI process was never about President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga wo entered a handshake deal in 2018.

"The BBI Bill is not just a product of the handshake as under Article 1 (2) of our Constitution. It has so far received overwhelming direct support from 'Wanjiku' and immense indirect support by the 'Wanjiku’s' democratically elected representatives,” he said.

The caucus chair said MCAs were disappointed by the High Court verdict “as it sets a very treacherous and hopeless path" for the country.

“By holding that some sections of the Constitution cannot be amended, whether by popular or parliamentary initiative, or what they term eternity clauses, the judges boldly, and without any solid analysis, took away the sovereign powers of the people enshrined in Article 1 (1).”

“In fact, the judges abused the indirect powers donated to them in Article 1 (3) (c) to oust the peoples’ direct power in Article 1 (1).”

The High Court judgment, the MCAs, noted, also contradicts “two landmark High Court decisions that held that the appointment of the BBI taskforce by the President is constitutional and that the IEBC is properly constituted".

“For these reasons, we demand that the Judiciary stops robing Kenyans of their direct sovereign powers, or abusing the delegated powers donated to them by Kenyans, and demand accountability from the Judiciary as it seems captured by domestic and international players who do not want a progressive society,” said the MCAs.

They added: “The judiciary tyranny must stop as such interpretation of the Constitution will easily land the country into a worse case of post-election violence than in 2007 and condemn Kenyans to external economic regression.”

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