The Kenyan government has formally challenged a ruling by the country’s High Court that found that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposed constitutional reforms were illegal.
The sweeping constitutional changes, popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), were dismissed by the court on May 14, in a blow to Kenyatta and his allies who wanted the amendments put to a referendum before next year’s elections.
In a formal appeal filed in court, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto said the five-panel bench had “erred” in determining that the president did not have the legal authority to spearhead such amendments.
Executive Director at Kenya’s Katiba Institute, Christine Nkonge, says they are not surprised.
“Just as we had expected, some of the pronouncements that came from the Supreme Court that we thought would be very injurious to the cause that the government wants to take, having the BBI put a referendum for some time this year. That is exactly what they are appealing, so this is not a surprise,” says Nkonge.
“This is going to be a huge legal fight between the sides that want to ensure proper procedures in amending the constitution and these are actions that government has decided to take, so it is as expected,” added Nkonge.