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Linda Katiba team vows to oppose Constitution change

By Bernard Gitau
Monday, November 30th, 2020
Linda Katiba lobby group led by Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua (left), Economist David Ndii (centre) and member Jerotich Seii, during a press conference in Nairobi on the Building Bridges Initiative yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA
In summary
    • Karua: We are calling on Kenyans to resist this illegitimate and ill-timed constitutional amendment initiative.
    • Ndii: We call upon Kenyans to resist this flagrant abuse of power.

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

The push to have a non-contested referendum seems to be far from over, after a section of politicians and constitutional experts under Linda Katiba vowed to oppose any move to amend the Constitution.

Linda Katiba initiative, led by Narc- Kenya Party leader Martha Karua and economist David Ndii, joined hands with other dissenters of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). 

“We are calling on Kenyans to resist this illegitimate, illegal and ill-timed constitutional amendment initiative,” said Karua.

She called for the full implementation of the 2010 Constitution and accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader  Raila Odinga of staging a coup against the most progressive Constitution in the world.

Legal redress

“We reject the State sponsored narrative that there are only two sides. Many Kenyans are against this illegitimate constitutional amendment,” she added.

On his part, Ndii said the Linda Katiba movement would seek legal redress, political engagement and civic education to make sure the BBI Constitution Amendment Bill does not carry the day.

“Our Constitution is fine, the two people who are trying to overthrow the current Constitution are the sons of those who overthrew the independence Constitution. We cannot allow this to happen,” said Ndii.

He said the BBI referendum being ‘forced on Kenyans’ is aimed at taking this country back to imperial presidency. He condemned the reports of provincial administrators being used to collect signatures.

“We call upon Kenyans to resist this flagrant abuse of power, and to flag any incidents they encounter through social media,” he said.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana who is also associated with Linda Katiba initiative, assured Kenyans that the Constitution is still good document.

 “We can review our Constitution after next elections devoid of political manipulation,” one of his latest tweet stated. 

On the latest indication by Deputy President William Ruto to support the BBI contrary against his earlier stand, Ndii said the Deputy President is part of the Jubilee faction that is mutilating the Constitution.

The Linda Katiba Movement outlined their grounds of opposing the constitutional amendment through BBI.

“The BBI taskforce has transformed from its earlier mandate to include statutory or constitutional changes, this leaves no doubt that the document is a State project,” said Jerotich Seii, a member of  Katiba Watch.

Total contempt 

Seii said the Constitution provides for only two processes of initiating its amendment namely popular and parliamentary. A state initiative can only be initiated through Parliament.

“The usurpation of people’s constitutional amendment pathway by the state is therefore unconstitutional,” added Seii.

Activist Boniface Mwangi accused President Uhuru of diverting attention after his administration’s failure to achieve its mandate.

“Since coming to power, Uhuru has done little else more than display his defiance and total contempt for the constitution,” said Mwangi.

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