Mutua Cleared Of Contempt Of Court Charge

The court ruled that Mutua’s statement was not intended to undermine it.

Mutua was summoned on the 1st of August 2013 by the Supreme Court in relation to a news article he had written on the presidential election petition.

The article was published in a local daily dated 28th 2013.

Respondents in the suit included President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its Chairman Issack Hassan.

Mutua represented by his lawyers, Prof. Tom Ojienda and Charles Kanjama for LSK raised two preliminary objections to the proceedings.

The first one was whether the Supreme Court had Jurisdiction to proceed with the conversation in the Presidential Election Petition even if the case was already determined and closed.

The second objection was based on whether the Chairman of the LSK was the proper party to summon to respond to a news item by the local daily, a third party that was not before Court.

During the mention on October 24, 2013, the Supreme Court held that it was not functus officio and had jurisdiction to entertain the proceeding.

Legally, functus officio is a doctrine that prevents re-opening of a matter before the same court, tribunal or statutory actor which rendered the final decision in the absence of statutory authority.

By Beth Nyaga

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