The High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Third Way Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot challenging the constitutionality of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force.
In a ruling delivered on Wednesday, Justice John Mativo said the team meets the requirements of the law of the land as stipulated in article 132 and 132 of the constitution.
Justice Mativo noted that the task force formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta has passed the legality test.
“I find and hold that this petition fails and is dismissed with no orders as to costs,” Mativo said.
In the petition that was filed in December last year, Aukot through lawyer Elias Mutuma, argued that ODM leader Raila Odinga had no legal mandate to negotiate the BBI with his handshake partner, President Kenyatta.
The proponent of the failed Punguza Mizigo Initiative avered that Raila is not recognised under the law and should not have an agreement with the President on national issues.
He noted that the formation of the task force amounted to misuse public resources. He asked the court to stop all its activities including the report it produced after collecting public views.
“The initiative is a total waste of time and public money. Taskforce hearings were conducted in secrecy in selected parts of this country, hence leaving out many Kenyans, ” said Aukot.
“The President ought to have included all the political players in the handshake. There were other presidential candidates in the 2017 race, why Raila only?”
Questioning the criteria used by the President to pick the task force members, the petitioner said, “The appointment of the members of the task force did not comply with Article 10 of the Constitution… The Constitution talks about how and the mode of selection of members to be assigned a public duty.”
The task force was established following President Kenyatta’s March 9, 2018, handshake with Raila to operationalize their reconciliation across the country.
The task force is co-chaired by senators Yusuf Haji (Garissa) and Amos Wako (Busia).
In December last year, the President extended the BBI task force term after delivering its recommendations.
In their proposals, the team retained the President as the Head of State recommending the creation of the Prime Minister position.
The BBI proposed that the Prime Minister may be dismissed by the President or through a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly.
It also recommended that the runner-up in a Presidential election becomes the leader of opposition in parliament.
Amid BBI activities in the country, there have been concerns from a section of leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto that BBI has left the country divided more than ever.