BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,2ND JULY,2021-NARC Kenya party leader Martha Karua has implored the Court of Appeal to safeguard and protect the Constitution against the political elite.
According to Karua, a senior counsel, politicians have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with the Constitution since independence. Instead, she argues that they will tamper with it for their own expedience.
The former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister says Kenyans must be apprehensive when politicians champion changes in the law of the land, noting that “while pretending to observe the Constitution, the political elite will use amendment and constitutional amendments to ensure they extend their stay in power and concentrate power in their hands,”
In a case where the second-highest court in the country is hearing submissions on whether or not to uphold a decision by the High Court voiding the change the constitution process under the Building Bridges Initiative, Karua wants the judges to have this in mind as they evaluate the case before them.
“The Constitution of Kenya 2010, recognized the danger of this behavior by the political elite, and if you look at the history which the CKRC report attached to the Attorney General record, you will see the fears Kenyans had in the making of the Constitution, that the political elite would mess with the 2010 constitution much more the way they had messed with the independence constitution through hyper amendments,” she told the Justice Daniel Musinga led the seven-judge bench
And she wants the Appellate Court judges to dismiss the appeal by BBI-proponents in order to bring an end to this culture. She lamented those constitutional amendments have been used as a special purpose vehicle to claw away civil liberties and democratic gains made over the years,
“Constitutions exists to limit the exercise of authority and this does not appear to be understood or taken into consideration in Kenya and indeed by many state officers and state entities,” she said
Citing Article 255 of the 2010 Constitution, Karua noted that the Kenyan law has a basic structure and as such contains protected clauses that cannot be amended. This she says, should persuade the judges to uphold the ruling made by High Court judges’ when they invalidated the BBI process.
“My lords, the realization of the dreams and aspirations of Kenyans depend on the courts as guardians of the Constitution. It is true pronouncements of the court, without fear or favor that this country will eventually achieve the transformation envisioned in the 2010 Constitution,” She pleaded
Karua challenged the court to enforce the limit of power as espoused by the 2010 Constitution.
“We ask you to rise up to your duty and utilize the sword to slay the monster. And the monster I dare say is the monster of impunity, of self-entitlement of the political elite.” The Narc Kenya leader said