Veteran lawyer Dr. John Khaminwa on Friday dismantled arguments by pro BBI lawyers, urging the Court of Appeal to uphold the ruling made by the High Court annulling the Building Bridges Initiative-sponsored Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020.
While making his arguments, Dr. Khaminwa told the court that the High Court judges acted in good faith when they declared the BBI process unlawful, maintaining that there is no justification to amend the current Constitution.
He said the Constitution has limits, and that “whatever problems we have in this country have absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution, they have nothing to do with law, they have something to do with ourselves, and particularly to the political class,”
“When it comes to violence, they are the ones fueling it.” He told the Justice Daniel Musinga-led bench.
“I urge you to respectfully throw out the appeal. It has no merit, absolutely none. The submissions that were made before you were pedestrian submissions. They were not in good faith.” He noted.
The Senior Counsel appearing for the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), and Kituo Cha Sheria said the Appellate Court must protect the country’s democratic values by resisting attempts to change the Constitution. He expressed worry that were the appeal to sail through, “some people who want to take us to the old days,” would have succeeded.
“We must say No to them. We have an unamendable constitution,” He charged.
“You have to uphold the ruling by Justices Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka, and Chacha Mwita who said amendments cannot be made to the basic foundation structure of the Constitution. It is for you to strengthen that judgment by making a firm order that the 2010 constitution is unamendable.” He implored the court
At the same time, Dr. Khaminwa said the judges must reject the appeal saying President Uhuru Kenyatta has on numerous occasions failed to abide by court orders. He said the Head of State erred by refusing to swear in some judges who had been recommended for promotion by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
“He has deliberately refused to swear in judges. It is my humble submission that when you are coming before a court you cannot despise a judge and at the same time appear before a judge and you expect that judge to give you orders at all.” he argued
According to Dr. Khaminwa, the appeal is lacking sense and sound reasoning to an extent that the submissions made by some of the lawyers appearing for the appellants are things they do not stand for what.
“I listened to them carefully, some of them who I happen to know very well, who are great friends I talk to from time to time, some of them I eat with them, I take a cup of tea with them, and I know what they stand for, when they were addressing you, they were saying things that they don’t believe in at all.” He said amid cheers in the room.