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The Court Ruling That Just Upended Kenyan Politics
The Court Ruling That Just Upended Kenyan Politics
Podcast / Africa

The Court Ruling That Just Upended Kenyan Politics

This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell is joined by Willy Mutunga, former Chief Justice of Kenya, to discuss the court ruling against the president’s major push to change the Kenyan constitution, the independence of the judiciary system and Kenya’s upcoming elections.

In May, the High Court in Kenya overturned President Uhuru Kenyatta’s plan to make significant changes to the 2010 constitution, seen as one of the most progressive in Africa. Willy Mutunga, former Chief Justice of Kenya, talks to Alan Boswell about the court’s decision against the proposed referendum, also known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), and the political significance of the ruling, which emphasises the sovereignty of the Kenyan people.

He explains why the independence of the Kenyan judiciary is at a crossroads, the pressures he faced as Chief Justice, and answers to critics who say Kenya’s court is “too activist”. They also discuss whether the government’s appeal of the BBI court case can succeed, and whether the government could still organise a referendum before the 2022 presidential elections. He also discusses whether he is concerned about a peaceful transfer of power or constitutional backsliding during the next administration. He then reflects on what it will take for younger generations to imagine and create a new Kenya.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify


Project Director, Horn of Africa
Willy Mutunga
Former Chief Justice of Kenya