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Bruised Uhuru, Raila to appeal High Court BBI ruling

The five-judge bench ruled that the BBI process, which had been championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, had multiple legal blunders, trashing it in totality.

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President Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga unveiling the BBI document. Photo/Courtesy

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga says he is disappointed by the Thursday High Court ruling that annulled the Building Bridges Initiative and the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2020 process.

However, he called for restraint in the public commentary about the ruling. In particular, he urged BBI proponents to restrain from personalized attacks on the court and its members.

He explained that the Judiciary sits at the centre of the democratic experiment in both established and emerging democracies, terming it as a pillar of the country’s democracy.

“We may disagree with the court but we must respect its ruling and its freedom to exercise its judgment as it understands the legal and constitutional matters before it,” he stated in a press release.

He said the Constitution provides for the right of appeal of a decision with which one feels aggrieved and would be appealing the ruling of the five-judge bench on the BBI Bill.

The five-judge bench ruled that the BBI process, which had been championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, had multiple legal blunders, trashing it in totality.

“We will calmly and respectfully move to the Court of Appeal to present our case as to why we think the High Court did not render the right verdict,” he revealed.

He said they would do so with sobriety and with respect for the judges and courts. Ultimately, he said, the objective is to strengthen, not undermine, the Judiciary.

Mr Odinga said BBI is a project of opportunity, equity, and equality for all that seeks to build a country of strong institutions and where citizenship means the ability and opportunity to realize one’s full humanity.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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