Raila Odinga Vows to appeal High Court ruling on BBI
By Sumaya Hussein
It’s been two days since the High court declared the BBI referendum process unconstitutional and finally, ODM leader Raila Odinga has reacted to the ruling. The BBI propellor is still optimistic that the bill will get past its current obstacle, like it has others before.
The former Prime Minister disliked the court’s judgement on the BBI initiative saying he was disappointed in the ruling and intends to appeal the decision.
In a party statement on Saturday, Raila said; “We will calmly and respectfully move to the Court of Appeal to present our case as to why we think the High Court did not render the right verdict. We will do so with sobriety and with respect for our judges and courts.”
Many have been anticipating to hear his thoughts after the court suddenly stopped “reggae” and rendered the BBI vehicle motionless. Unlike many, including Deputy President William Ruto, who believe the BBI is done for, Odinga remains hopeful that the Constitutional reform will resurface.
Mr. Odinga also called for restraint from personalized attacks on the court and its members, especially the five-judge bench that delivered Thursday’s verdict.
“We may disagree with the court but we must respect its ruling and its freedom to exercise its judgement as it understands the legal and constitutional matters before it,” said Odinga.
Come Monday, the BBI Secretariat as well, co-chaired by ODM’s Director of Elections Junet Mohamed, are to file an appeal against the High Court’s ruling that derailed the BBI train.
“It is not over yet! We still believe a new Kenya is possible and the BBI will give birth to that new Kenya. We would fight to the bitter end,” Junet said in a press conference at the Secretariat headquarters in Nairobi on Friday.
Besides the Secretariat, another wing led by Attorney-general Kihara Kariuki, has also communicated a notice of appeal.
Kariuki says the High Court erred in dealing the BBI process a blow, and that a higher court is better-placed to give an interpretation on whether public participation, was adequately conducted. The lack of public participation stood as one of the reasons that led to the court nullifying the BBI process.
The fate of the BBI remains a mystery for now as a section of lawyers including Bobby Mkangi, Charles Kanjama, Steve Ogolla and Elias Mutuma, believe the petitioners would have a low chance of success at the Court of Appeal. According to them, the High Court’s ruling was watertight.
Another section, however, led by Prof. Ben Sihanya and Tom Joseph Kajwang, believe the lower court’s ruling would be overturned at the Court of Appeal.