Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has defended the High Court judges who declared the BBI process as unconstitutional, null and void.
Through a press statement on Monday, Musyoka said although he was displeased by the decision on the legality of the Building Bridges Initiative, he respects the ruling.
“Personally, I do not agree with the judgment, but I cannot vilify the judges,” Musyoka said in the statement.
“In the all-important role of nation building, we must exercise restraint for anything that could plunge the nation into a crisis. We must all respect the institution that the Judiciary is,” Musyoka said, recalling the history of constitutional reform in Kenya.
The Wiper leader, who is among the One Kenya Alliance principals, joins ODM leader and ANC chief Musalia Mudavadi in calling for restraint over the ruling.
On Thursday, May 13, a five-judge High Court bench ruled that the BBI process was unconstitutional, declaring it null and void.
It also ruled the BBI task force was an illegal entity, and that the President did not have powers to lead the constitutional amendments through a popular initiative.
Following the ruling, a number of leaders supporting the BBI have attacked the judges.
For instance, Agriculture CS Peter Munya on Saturday said the ruling had another motivation beyond the law, and the judges seemed to have been reading a judgment “written somewhere else’.
“The judges acted like politicians. They were wrong for them to go personal and attack the President in person,” Munya said at Kieni MP Kanini Kega’s home in Nyeri.
The co-chair of the BBI Secretariat Suna East MP Junet Mohamed dismissed the ruling as “judicial activism”.
Former BBI joint secretary Paul Mwangi on Friday the High Court bench was fighting President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Even the petitioners are shocked. The judges hijacked their case and used it to wage war on the President instead of dealing with the issues the petitioners raised,” Mwangi, a long-term lawyer for Raila Odinga, said.
Cotu Secretary General, who has been a key proponent for the law change, asked President Kenyatta to punish the judges over the ruling.
“The ruling was an attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta by the five judges. This shows openly that they had a predetermined decision. President Kenyatta should take stringent action(s) against the five. BBI is still on course,” Atwoli said on Saturday.
But ODM leader Raila called for calm and urged proponents of the BBI to refrain from criticizing the ruling.
The handshake principal said the ultimate goal is to strengthen Judiciary rather than weakening it through unnecessary criticism
He, however, expressed his disappointed over the ruling.
“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” Raila said.
Mudavadi also said Kenyans should stop disparaging the court over the BBI ruling.
“Kenya is a democratic country build on basic tenets of separation of powers, checks, balance and respect of the rules of law.”
“It is, therefore, imperative that from the onset, we accept and respect the decision of our courts. Where we feel aggrieved, we should prefer an appeal rather than disparage the courts for this does not augur well for adherence to the rule of law,” Mudavadi said.