Proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative will on Thursday know whether the proposed constitutional amendments can go to the referendum.
Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jarius Ngaah, Janet Mulwa and Chacha Mwita are set to make their judgement on seven petitions challenging the BBI process.
The petitioners in the case include economist David Ndii, Kenya National Union of Nurses, Thirdway Alliance, 254Hope, Justus Juma, Moraa Omoke, Isaac Aluochier and Muhuri.
In February, BBI suffered a major blow after the High Court barred IEBC from preparing for a referendum on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
In a ruling delivered by a five-judge bench, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was temporarily stopped from preparing for a referendum pending hearing and determination of seven petitions filed challenging the process.
“We believe that it is in the public interest that appropriate conservatory orders be granted. Consequently, we hereby order that a conservatory order be and is hereby issued restraining IEBC from facilitating and subjecting the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 to a referendum,” the order read.
In March, the eight petitioners put up a spirited fight before a five-judge bench in a bid to nullify the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2020.
In a virtual proceeding that took more than six hours, the petitioners each took turns asking the judges to declare BBI unconstitutional.
LSK President Nelson Havi, representing Ndii and his co-petitioners, told the judges that they have unlimited power to invalidate a process that seeks to alter the basic structure of the constitution.
Havi further said that BBI is an initiative powered by President Uhuru Kenyatta and cannot be a popular initiative.
In the February ruling, The court further barred the commission from taking any other action to advance the Bill pending the hearing and determination of the consolidated petitions.
The electoral commission was expected to roll out the process of submitting the Bill to the counties according to their schedule.
The judges had further cautioned Parliament and the county assemblies from rushing the BBI process.
“Rushing the Bill through county assemblies and eventually through Parliament does not inoculate the resultant constitutional amendment from the possibility that it could be declared invalid,” the judges ruled.
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