Kenya Supreme Court declares BBI Bill unconstitutional

Right Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta and left former Prime minister Raila odinga
Right Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta and left former Prime minister Raila odinga

By:Abdiaziz Daud , Horndiplomat Correspondent in Kenya, @Abdiaaziiz

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the government’s plans to amend the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) an initiative born after the handshake between president Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime minister Raila odinga. 
In a majority decision of five against two, the top court judges agreed that the BBI Bill, which sought to amend the supreme law through a popular initiative was unconstitutional.
Six of seven judges agreed that the President cannot lead a popular initiative to amend the Constitution.
“The Basic Structure Doctrine is not applicable in Kenya. In order to amend the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the four sequential steps are not necessary,” Koome said.

Final judgment

  1. Basic Structure is not applicable in Kenya.
  2. President cannot initiate amendment through Popular Initiative – President Kenyatta initiated the BBI. Consequently under 257, BBI is unconstitutional.
  3. Creation of 70 constituencies is unconstitutional for want of public participation.
  4. Civil proceedings cannot be initiated against the President.
  5. No obligation on IEBC to ensure promoters of BBI complied with requirements for public participation. There was public participation on BBI.
  6. IEBC had quorum.
  7. Issue of multiple question was not ripe for determination.
  8. Each party to bear own costs of suit.


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