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BBI not a matter of life and death – ODM SG Sifuna says as BBI hearing continues

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna has said that it is not a must for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), and his party will accept the results in the ongoing appeal.

The Court of Appeal began the hearing on Tuesday, 29 June, on the case filed by the BBI proponents following the ruling that ruled that the constitutional amendment process was unconstitutional, null and void.

The case is expected to go through till Thursday 1 July.

Speaking in an interview with Radio Maisha, Sifuna said that the ODM party feels that BBI is important for the country, but it is not a must the bill goes through.

He added that if the Appellate decides to uphold the High Court ruling, the party will embark on other issues of great importance.

“It is not a matter of life and death. It is just a national conversation we are having,” said Sifuna.

Sifuna, however, excluded confidence that the court will overthrow the High Court’s ruling explaining that he has confidence in the country’s top lawyers brought together to fight for the revival of the proposed constitutional amendments through the BBI.

The appeal is being heard by a seven-judge bench led by Justice Daniel Musinga, the Court of Appeal president.

Among the appellants are President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Attorney General Paul Kihara, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the BBI secretariat.

While annulling the BBI process last month, a five-judge bench; Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Chacha Mwita and Teresia Matheka, in a statement said that the President, government or any state organ could not be an initiator of and an umpire in amendment of the constitution.

The Justices argued that that BBI was the President’s initiative which is contrary to Article 257 of the constitution.

They maintained that the task force that morphed to a steering committee was an unlawful and unconstitutional outfit, and it was invalid from the beginning.

However, while defending the BBI proponents on Wednesday, 30 June, Rarieda, Member of Parliament and Senior Counsel Otiende Amollo, said that the court had insisted that President Uhuru Kenyatta was the document’s promoter while it was Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and his BBI secretariat co-chair Dennis Waweru.

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