It was a huge blow for the Tana River County Assembly after a High Court sitting in Malindi on Tuesday ruled the recently passed BBI Bill was unconstitutional and is nullified. Judge Reuben Nyakundi discredited the whole process as carried out by the Tana River county assembly last month, saying it had major constitutional irregularities, making it fatally defective.
In his ruling, Justice Nyakundi has also directed the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, and his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka to delete Tana River County Assembly from the list of counties that have adopted the draft Bill. The county was among the 35 which have overwhelmingly approved the document.
The judge questioned a decision by the County Assembly of Tana River to rely on the county website to get views over the BBI document. This he said, denied the majority of county residents the chance to take part in a once in a life time opportunity of ammending the constitution.
“To demand of the citizens to present the memorandum or submissions through the website was an uphill task even to the leaders of that assembly themselves in view of inadequate optic fibre or internet facilities. In this county, one is not able to access a website at the touch of a button,” said Justice Nyakundi.
“To this court, the action taken by the respondent only means that the people of Tana River were locked out of involvement in the crafting of the Constitution which is a lifetime opportunity lost to contribute to the constitutional amendment process,” he added.