Kenyan Judiciary On The Defence
Kenya’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has defended itself against sustained attacks by the political leaders and their supporters.
Addressing a live television press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday, Chief Justice and JSC President David Maraga said members of his team were ready to pay the ultimate price in the defence of the rule of law.
Judge Maraga re-affirmed the independence of the Judiciary and the commitment of the members to the execution of their mandate.See Also:US Pushes For Uhuru,Raila Talks.
He expressed dismay that the Inspector General of Police, Mr Joseph Boinet, had failed to act on threats to the lives of the judicial officers.
The Judiciary has come under sustained attacks by the ruling Jubilee coalition leaders and their supporters since the annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August 8 re-election.
Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of Jubilee supporters held demonstrations outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi, accusing the country’s top court of “stealing their victory”.Related Story:My Life Is In Danger-IEBC Commissioner
Waving placards, the demonstrators, mostly youth, accused the judges of rendering an illegal judgment.
Other demonstrations were also held in the Jubilee in central Kenya and the Rift Valley, the respective homes of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
The demonstrators paralysed transport on sections of Kenya’s main artery from Nairobi and the border with Uganda.
Tough-talking President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto hit out at the Supreme Court, questioning the reasoning of its nullification of their win.
The Jubilee duo also threatened to “deal with” the Judiciary should they be re-elected in the fresh pollthe Kenya’s top court ordered should happen within 60 days.Also Read:“Supreme Court Should Have Ordered Vote Recount” Says President Uhuru Kenyatta
“Even if you are so stupid, ask yourself something: The people elected an MCA, results were transmitted, and no one asked questions. Those of MPs and senators were transmitted, and no one asked questions and they have been sworn in.
“Those of governors were transmitted, no one asked questions. Now how do four people wake up and say there was a technicality in the transmission of the results of the president only? How?” posed President Kenyatta at State House Nairobi when he met Jubilee and allied parties’ recently elected senators, governors and members of county assemblies.
A visibly angry President Kenyatta then threatened to deal with the Supreme Court judges if he is re-elected.
“We shall revisit this thing. We clearly have a problem. Who even elected you? Were you? We have a problem and we must fix it,” he said.Supreme Court Judges,Opposition skip Uhuru’s Parliament Address
He insisted that though he respects the ruling of the apex court and was ready for an election, the judgment in itself, he argued, was wrong both in principle and fact.
“The Supreme Court sat and decided that they are the ones with a bigger power than the 15 million Kenyans who woke up, queued in lines, and voted for their preferred presidential candidate. As a Supreme Court, they cannot annul the wishes of the people. And we will revisit this thing,” he said.
He accused the Raila Odinga-led opposition, which filed and won the petition, of an attempt to use the courts to push for a coalition government famously known in Kenya as “nusu mkate” (half a loaf).
“We want to tell you this: We won the election fair and square. And we are unapologetic about it. We will not succumb to any intimidation from the court to forego our win. We won,” said Mr Ruto.
He questioned the powers of the Supreme Court to annul the elections.CEO Ezra Chiloba on the Spot
“It is not the Supreme Court that is supreme. It is the Kenyan people that are,” said Mr Ruto.
The two leaders said they were ready for a repeat poll, and urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to announce the date of the next poll.
They also vowed to block any attempts by Mr Odinga to overhaul the commission.
“We have been down this road before. This time, we will not. We have no time to change the IEBC. You accepted the results of the other elective seats in an election that was managed by this same IEBC. Get ready for an election, and Raila, see you at the ballot,” said President Kenyatta.
African judges faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s attacks on the Supreme Court, describing them unfortunate and could endanger judges. Read Also:I was Angered By The Supreme Court Ruling -Uhuru
Through the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) and the South African Judiciary, the judges expressed their solidarity with Chief Justice David Maraga and other four judges of the court.
The African Union (AU) in July 2010 adopted the decision to create a African Constitutional Justice space, at the initiative of Algeria.
The AU encouraged the establishment of the CCJA so that it could contribute to the realization of the continental dream of ensuring that all elections are peaceful, free and fair, and that constitutionalism, human rights, the rule of law and judicial independence are promoted and observed.
“We hereby express our unwavering support to the Chief Justice and the Kenyan Judiciary for their commitment to uphold their oath of office which requires of them to act in terms of the Constitution and the law and without fear, favour and prejudice,” Mr Mogoeng said in the statement. Similar Story:Jubilee Split Over Plan To Oust CJ Maraga