Frustrated Maraga blasts Executive over alleged mistreatment and disrespect


Frustrated Maraga blasts Executive over alleged mistreatment and disrespect
Chief Justice David Maraga addressing the press at the Supreme Court building on November 4, 2019. PHOTO|COURTESY

In Summary

  • In an unprecedented move, Maraga on Monday cited budgetary cuts and several incidences to highlight what he described as the contemptuous treatment of the Judiciary.
  • The Chief Justice disclosed that on a number of occasions, including the recent Mashujaa Day celebrations, he has not been accorded the respect befitting his office.
  • Maraga revealed that during the Mashujaa Day celebrations he was allowed to walk to the dais through a sidewalk and that the Master of Ceremony did not acknowledge his arrival yet the same was done for other senior State officers.

Chief Justice David Maraga has opened up on alleged mistreatment and disrespect he has been subjected to by the Executive arm of government.

In an unprecedented move, Maraga on Monday cited budgetary cuts and several incidences to highlight what he described as the contemptuous treatment of the Judiciary.

“The Judiciary has been treated and continues to be treated contemptuously… When I go to other countries I am treated very well and I wonder what happens in my own country,” said Maraga in a press address at the Supreme Court building.

The Chief Justice disclosed that on a number of occasions, including the recent Mashujaa Day celebrations, he has not been accorded the respect befitting his office.

Maraga revealed that during the Mashujaa Day celebrations he was allowed to walk to the dais through a sidewalk and that the Master of Ceremony did not acknowledge his arrival yet the same was done for other senior State officers.

“Unless I am treated with dignity due to my office, I will choose which of State functions to attend,” said the CJ.

He further pointed out that he has been denied access to the VIP lounge at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on grounds that it is reserved for the Deputy President.

“My problem is that there are times I receive very important visitors such as fellow Chief Justices… Where I’m i supposed to take them?” he posed.

The CJ went ahead to reveal that he has been denied protocol cars to carry his high ranking visitors and a Mercedes-Benz S500, yet the same car has been acquired for the two speakers of Parliament.

“The Chief Justice has no Mercedes. When we applied we were told ‘we don’t want wastage, stick to 2500cc…’ It is wastage to buy a Chief Justice a Mercedes S500 but it is not wastage to buy the same for the two speakers of the Parliament,” said Maraga.

To paint a picture of how some State officers apparently disregard him, Maraga noted that number of Cabinet Secretaries address him through letters written by their office clerks.

“That is how the CJ is treated. A clerk is the one who addresses the CJ. I shred most of those letters,” he said.

He further disclosed that he is aware that some CSs and PSs are keen on having him removed from office.

“I’m told that some CSs and PSs are bragging that the CJ will or should be removed before the end of this year. Really? Kumbe hii nchi iko na wenyewe. Some of us are serving at their pleasure. Let me tell them, the CJ is here exercising the mandate given to him by the Kenyan people. I’m not serving under the pleasure of CS or PS,” he said.

Maraga accused the Executive of trying to interfere with affairs of the Judiciary in an attempt to control it.

“They are now bragging that they want Judges and Magistrates vetted. We will not allow that. It will only happen if it is countrywide and involve other arms of government. We are tired of being the punching bag all the time,” he said.

“Why are they interested in our affairs? It is because they want to control the Judiciary. They want to make the Judiciary a puppet.”

Asked whether he would consider resigning due to the apparent frustration, Maraga said: “There is no reason to resign. Unless this problem is addressed, the incoming CJ will suffer the same.”

“This is disrespect to the judiciary and I don’t think my predecessor was treated any better,” he added.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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