Raphael Tuju accuses CJ Maraga of double standards

Thursday February 15 2018

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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The Jubilee government has protested at what it termed as open bias against it by the Judiciary.

The ruling party’s main gripe was that whereas most of its concerns have received no attention whatsoever, those from the opposition received a lesser reprimand by the same office.

In a letter dated February 9, Raphael Tuju, Head of Jubilee Secretariat, said that some actions by the Judiciary are evidence of bias, double standards, impunity and poor leadership.

'DEFY RULING'

The letter was directed to the office of the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, Justice David Maraga. Mr Tuju said that when the Supreme Court nullified the August 8, elections and ordered for fresh elections, the Jubilee government obeyed the orders because of respect of the for the Judiciary.

Nasa on the other hand chose to defy the ruling and boycotted the repeat elections without even bothering to come back to court to canvass their position.

“The Judiciary issued no statement to condemn this Nasa defiance of the ruling. A case the Jubilee government filed to urge the Supreme Court to clarify the fate of the repeat presidential elections was not treated with the urgency it deserved,” said Mr Tuju.

However, a case filed by an ODM and Nasa sympathiser seeking to stop the October 26, elections was scheduled for hearing on October 25, despite the date having been declared a public holiday.

But the case collapsed after some Supreme Court judges failed to turn up to hear the case. Even after the legitimate swearing in of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nasa proceeded with a protest swearing in of their leader, Mr Raila Odinga, as the people’s president.

The Judiciary did not condemn such act and, further to that, Justice Maraga was quoted stating that he has no powers to stop any judge from conducting the protest swearing in of the people’s president. This is what Jubilee perceives as another wink to Nasa to proceed with the Uhuru Park event.

The Attorney General filed a case to challenge the legality of the people’s assembly but faster disposal of the matter has been frustrated by the same Judiciary which allocated a hearing in February and not the anticipated January 30.

“The court did not deem it fit to certify this matter as urgent, in contrast to a certification of urgency when ODM/Nasa surrogates had come to court in an attempt to postpone the October 26, elections,” Mr Tuju in his letter received by the Judiciary on February 13.

He said these actions are a demonstration to the executive that, “when it comes to keeping law and order, they are on their own.”

A High Court in Kitui made a ruling on November 20, last year to suspend the formation of the People’s Assembly but Nasa has continued with impunity to disobey the court order and Justice Maraga has been conspicuously silent.

On the other hand, the courts have responded quickly to grant bond to Nasa leadership after “the illegal act of swearing in” the people’s president.

The jubilee government has also protested at the Supreme Court judgment which nullified the August 8, general elections. They say it has no precedence in the world and the commonwealth where the country’s legal system, borrows from.

Moreover, the high courts have ignored the precedent it had set and are throwing out elections petitions with arguments which are the opposite of those used by the Supreme Court.

Mr Tuju also said in the run up to the 2017 general elections, the party protested against the conduct of High Court Judge George Odunga, but the judiciary jumped into his defence without addressing the issues raised.

“I still wonder whether investigations were conducted to verify the validity of the claims we made,” Mr Tuju in his letter.

He said the constitution requires the judiciary to be impartial, just and fair.

If implemented, this proposal is likely to raise concerns that the Constitution is being amended indirectly or undermined.

The committee also recommended the extension of the time within which the President should be sworn in to between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. rather than the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. stated in the law currently.

The team also recommended changes to the law clarifying the extent of the Deputy President’s powers whenever he takes over the presidency because the actual President is incapacitated.