Kenyans have hit out at Chief Justice David Maraga, accusing him of embarrassing and dishonouring the legal profession after he attended a public rally addressed by President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto in Kisii.
President Kenyatta, Dr Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday toured Kisii County, where they launched new facilities at the referral hospital, and Mr Maraga attended the event.
Critics, including senators, have raised questions why the CJ attended the meeting which they termed a 'political function'.
"There is no day in the history of this country that a CJ attended a political event. In terms of decorum, it is a very bad manners,” Senate Minority Leader James Orengo said.
Mr Orengo said the CJ had brought dishonour to the courts.
“When you have a situation where the Chief Justice is turning in line in a crowd and waiting to be recognised, in terms of judicial decorum, it is very bad manners,” Mr Orengo said.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula expressed disappointment at the CJ for thanking the Executive "for bringing development to his area".
"He is not the Chief Justice of Kisii. He is the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya," Mr Wetang'ula said.
Other Kenyans took to social media to express their anger. Nairobi Lawyer Nelson Havi posted on Twitter: "It is going to be difficult for CJ David Maraga to extricate himself from the public perception that he has been taken hostage by the Executive or has willingly joined it. A CJ cannot be doing this. Not under The Constitution of Kenya, 2010."
Abuga Makori tweeted, "I am a disturbed man simply because of our judiciary. CJ Maraga travelled from Nairobi to Kisii on Wednesday to attend to a roadside rally. I expected him to tour only Kisii Teaching and Referral Hosptial but saw him with politicians in town."
Another Twitter user said, "Maraga's high office demands all impartiality in all arenas. He stooped so so low by presenting himself as one of the mtu wa mkono in Kisii.’