Kenya Court of Appeal rejects attempt to amend the Constitution

Kenya’s Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the illegality of the constitutional review process launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta, which has seen his plans thwarted less than a year before the presidential election.
The reform, dubbed the “Building Bridge Initiative” (BBI), aims to amend the 2010 constitution – which established a presidential system of government – to create, among other things, a post of prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and a leader of the opposition, and to increase the number of seats in parliament.
But “the president does not have the power under the constitution to initiate amendments to the constitution. A constitutional amendment can only be initiated by Parliament (…) or by popular initiative,” said presiding judge Daniel Musinga at the conclusion of the more than 10-hour reading of the ruling.
The head of state may be subject to civil proceedings for illegally initiating this process, the seven judges also ruled. The BBI has been a source of growing controversy since its launch on November 27, 2019.
President Kenyatta says the reform is meant to mitigate the current “winner take all” system that has caused post-election conflicts throughout the country’s history.
But critics see it as a ploy by the head of state, who is not allowed to run for a third term in the August 2022 election, to keep himself in power as prime minister.