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Mudavadi urges recalibration of BBI into a parliamentary initiative » Capital News



NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 — Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has called for the recalibration of the Building Bridges Initiative constitutional review process into a parliamentary initiative to avoid pitfalls created by a constititional court ruling .

He was referencing a High Court ruling by a five-judge bench of Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita that among other declarations, noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta had violated the Constitution when he initiated the BBI process which it said could only be done by Parliament or the citizens through a popular initiative.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Mudavadi said the process should not be abandoned completely but done through an inclusive national dialogue styled in the format of the 1997  Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group which involved all parliamentary parties.

“We should not throw out the baby with the bathwater.There must be a silver lining out of the court’s judgemment and this is what we must look as a nation.We recommend and appeal to all leaders to consider a return to the conversation table and restart an inclusive national dialogue,” he urges.

The dialogue, according to Mudavadi will look at the bill and pick out the key issues which should be debated by parliamentarians for consideration to be included in the Constitution.

“As ANC, we are  convinced that whereas the Court points at some sticky issues in the proposed bill, here are equally very useful proposals for our nation and people,” Mudavadi said.

While the ANC Leader said he respected the High Court decision that stopped the entire BBI process, Mudavadi noted the timeframe of appealing the ruling would reduce the possibility of effecting the constitutional changes before the 2022 general elections.

The court’s declaration on the electoral agency’s lack of capacity to conduct any referendum due to lack of quorum and statutory frameworks to conduct a national referendum exercise means that a lot more  time will be required to enable these IEBC incapacities to be addressed, Mudavadi noted.

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In their ruling, the High Court judges said, the commission was not properly constituted because it lacked the requisite quorum of five commissioners to make any major policy decision.

“All the decision IEBC made regarding the constitutional amendment Bill is illegal because it lacks the quorum required,” the judges ruled, adding “At the time the BBI report was launched, there was no legislation in place to guide the referendum process.”

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