Atwoli Reacts to BBI Being Declared Unconstitutional

  • The Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General, Francis Atwoli, has urged workers across Kenya to respect the Court of Appeal judgment which declared the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) unconstitutional.

    Speaking in Mombasa County, Atwoli acknowledged the ruling issued by the seven-judge bench led by President of the Appellate Court, Justice Daniel Musinga, on Friday, August 20. 

    He added that he knew the court would uphold the High Court ruling which nullified BBI, owing to the introduction of the Office of the Judiciary Ombudsman which would have created a direct conflict and duplication of roles of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

    JSC, under then Chief Justice, David Maraga, criticised the proposal stating that it was a far-reaching recommendation that would affect its roles as the Ombudsman would be a direct appointee of the President, tasked with handling disputes too. 

    7-bench Court of Appeal judges hearing the BBI case

    “The Court of Appeal was not going to rule in favour of BBI because one of the fundamental issues in the 74 proposed amendments – that judges would not have accepted was the issue of the Ombudsman,” stated Atwoli. 

    “This was like a disciplinary measure proposed against the judges and would have escalated the poor relationship between the Judiciary and the Executive.â€

    The labour leader added that workers would not appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court, as they had shifted their attention to the 2022 General Election. 

    He, moreover, urged leaders to find a way to solve election disputes amicably as they (workers) always shouldered the burden during clashes. 

    In a statement issued via his official page, Atwoli castigated Deputy President William Ruto for opposing the BBI, yet he had supported and called for the creation of the office of the leader of the opposition. 

    “It was with great bemusement when I saw the same man who called for the creation of the office of opposition leader, admonish the same proposal as contained in the BBI,†he stated. 

    Atwoli noted that the proposal to amend the 2010 Constitution was far from over and that any administration that comes in office in 2022 will make constitutional review their first order of business, especially after realizing how polarized the country will be with the current constitutional dispensation.

    COTU leader Francis Atwoli (left) and Deputy President William Ruto (right)