President Uhuru Kenyatta’s statement during 2019 Jamhuri day celebration targeting lawmakers has come back to haunt him in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill appeal case where Siaya Senator James Orengo is involved.
In his speech during the Jamhuri Day, the head of state argued that it was unfair for legislators, both at the county and national level to appear in court as counsel.
“Fellow Kenyans, is it fair? is it right? for legislators who have control over funds and exercise oversight over the judiciary to appear in court as counsel?
“Is it fair on the judicial officer hearing the case or other parties that one party in the case is represented by persons who can literally change the law applicable to the dispute, control the career progression of the judge or magistrate?” Uhuru posed.
However, two years later in the BBI appeal case, President Uhuru Kenyatta has placed his confidence in Orengo, who is an elected leader, to win the BBI appeal case.
“What is before us we will sort out, I am sure. If we have lawyers like Senator Orengo, can we be defeated really?” the president posed while addressing Kisumu residents at Wagai market in Gem constituency.
“BBI is not helping Raila and his family. BBI is not helping Uhuru. It is for bringing justice for every Kenyan. And that is what I am pleading with you, please come out and support it,” he added.
In his speech during the Madaraka day celebrations that was held in Kisumu County, the Head of State accused the Judiciary of frustrating his regime.
He used examples of the nullification of his Presidential election win in 2017 and the attempt to stop the will of the people as expressed through BBI to support his allegations.
“The Judiciary has tested our constitutional limits, but not broken them. We must follow the Rule of Law and obey the decisions of the courts but the sovereign and supreme voice of the People of Kenya must also be followed. And that is why our National Conversation today must focus on the Burden of Choice.”
Orengo is representing Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Leader Raila Odinga, alongside lawyer Paul Mwangi in the BBI appeal case after a five-bench judge in the High Court declared the constitutional amendments bill null and void.