Hundreds of residents of Laikipia on Saturday held a peaceful demonstration in Nanyuki town, castigating the recent High Court ruling that declared the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill null and void.
Led by a section of Laikipia Members of County Assembly (MCAs), the locals accused the five-judge bench of denying them their Constitutional right to make their decision on the BBI through a referendum process.
Speaking to the media at the precincts of the County Assembly, the irate group said the drive for constitutional change being spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, was meant to uplift the standards of living of the citizens.
MCAs Joseph Kiguru (Igwamiti), Veronicah Ikinyua (Nanyuki Town), Daniel Nyausi (Mukogodo East), Patricia Muthoni (nominated) and Catherine Nyawira (nominated), lashed out at the judges for ‘undermining the President’.
Kiguru said BBI was meant to give Laikipia County an additional Constituency thus channelling more resources to spur economic growth at the grassroots.
“I want to condemn those five judges who sat and opted to deny Kenyans their right to vote for BBI. Kenyans need to be given a chance to vote for either “YES” or “NO” but not a group of five choosing what Kenyans want,” the lawmaker said.
“For the will of Laikipia residents to be respected, we were to get one Constituency through BBI. The County Government was slated to get an additional Sh4.2billion. This would have led to improved infrastructure and water provision at the grassroots,” Kiguru said.
Nyausi said he is optimistic the Court of Appeal will overturn the five-judge ruling.
“I have a lot of expectations that the appeal will grant Kenyans their right and as Kenyans we want our rights to be respected,” Nyausi said.
Isaac Ndegwa, a resident, said the BBI was meant to benefit Kenyans and the ruling denied them many opportunities that BBI was offering.
“We are not happy with the judges’ decision, BBI was meant to benefit 45 million Kenyans,” Irritated Ndegwa said.
They vowed to challenge the decision at the Court of Appeal, Monday.
By Muturi Mwangi