My biggest regret is the failure of BBI – Uhuru
President Uhuru Kenyatta now says his biggest regret as president is the collapse of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The President's bid to amend the 2010 Constitution through the BBI was dealt a death blow by the Supreme Court in March. A seven-judge bench declared the process illegal, null and void.
Speaking to vernacular stations that broadcast in Central Kenya on Sunday, August 7, the president said he would ensure the next government pushes for the implementation of BBI after the August 9 polls.
He said the 'death' of BBI was a huge loss to the populous region that should have gained more resources from the national government.
"One of my biggest regrets is seeing the BBI fail. I will ensure the next government pushes it forward. I advocate for one person one vote one shilling. Resources should be divided based on population not the size of the land," he said.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court in March reaffirmed the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020, was unconstitutional on grounds that the President initiated the constitutional reform project.
The apex court ruled that Uhuru ought not to have initiated the referendum issues, through a popular initiative which is against Article 257 of the Constitution which guides the process of amending the supreme law, with five of the seven judges saying the president is not an ordinary citizen and therefore should not have to lead the project.
Justices Martha Koome (CJ), Philomena Mwilu (DCJ), Smokin Wanjala, Ibrahim Mohammed and William Ouko ruled that the BBI bill which was felled by the High Court and the Court of Appeal was unconstitutional while Isaac Lenaola and Njoki Ndung’u dissented.
“The president cannot initiate constitutional amendment or changes through a popular initiative under Article 257 of the Constitution. Njoki Ndung’u dissented. The big aspect of this issue is that the president initiated the amendment process. Njoki and Lenaola dissented.
“Consequently, under Article 257 of the constitution, the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 is unconstitutional, ” Koome said after all the seven judges had given their ruling.
At the same time, Uhuru, who is set to retire next week, assured the Mt Kenya residents that he will be around to protect the interests of the region, where he hails from.
He said that he will develop a working relationship with the incoming government in a bid to safeguard the interests of region.
"I'm not going anywhere, I'm just changing careers. You will still see me around and I pledge to work with the incoming government. However, my people of Mt Kenya I'm leaving you in safe hands with an advocate of human rights and an iron lady," he said.
The outgoing Head of State has endorsed Azimio One Kenya coalition candidate Raila Odinga for the presidency in the race that pits the ODM party leader and his estranged deputy William Ruto.