Senior counsels caution Uhuru over threats to Judiciary

Friday July 14 2017

Committee of Senior Counsels President Isaac

Committee of Senior Counsels President Isaac Okero (left) flanked by his Vice President Faith Waigwa at a past event. The committee has cautioned President Uhuru Kenyatta against threatening the Judiciary. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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A committee of Senior Counsels has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop threatening the Judiciary.

The lawyers said such threats amount to attack on the rule of law.

They said threatening courts encourages breach of laws and a culture of extra judicial methods to deal with situations.

“It is not surprising that there is an upsurge of extra judicial killings by security agents for the ultimate effect of deprecating the Judiciary is the subversion of the constitution and total breakdown of peace, law and order and all civil authority,” the statement from the Committee.

BALLOT PAPERS

In the last one week, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have criticised the courts over their handling of election-related cases.

Some of Jubilee candidates have accused two judges who handled the case on the tender for printing ballot papers of conflict of interest.

Jubilee has claimed that the opposition in a scheme to have the polls, scheduled for August 8, postponed.

“Everyone knows elections are to be held on August 8. These people should not play with our thoughts. If they are not ready, they should say so instead of using the courts to push the election date,” said the President.

FAMILY TIES

“There are judges who have shown their political stand. What will happen to the impartiality of the Judiciary? Chief Justice David Maraga should help us understand this situation,” said Mr Ruto in Lodwar last week.

In the statement, the senior counsels faulted the suggestion by the leaders on condemning the two judges on the basis of their family ties.

“Every judicial officer has an ethnic or racial background and thus a generalised attack on any one of them on that basis a clear and cynical violation of national values and principles of national unity, the rule of law, non-discrimination and inclusiveness,” they committee said.

The committee members include its chairman Isaac Okero and Vice-Chairperson Faith Waigwa. Its members include Manthi Masika, Allan Kosgey, Edwin Sifuna, Jane Masai and Grace Okumu.