Supreme Court judge blasts Executive over attacks on Judiciary


Supreme Court judge blasts Executive over attacks on Judiciary
Supreme Court Judge Isaac Lenaola speaking during the international symposium on fighting impunity in East Africa at Strathmore University on Tuesday

In Summary

  • Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola has lamented the encroachment of the Judiciary’s independence by the Executive.
  • The Executive and the Judiciary have been on a collision course over a flurry of issues including the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in the August 8, 2017 election.
  • Justice Lenaola faulted the petitions seeking the removal of Chief Justice David Maraga and DCJ Philomena Mwilu.

Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola has lamented the encroachment of the Judiciary’s independence by the Executive saying that targeting of judges by interested parties in cases is eroding democracy in Kenya.

The Executive and the Judiciary have been on a collision course over a flurry of issues including the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in the August 8, 2017 election, disregard of court orders by government officials and cutting of the Judiciary’s budget by Jubilee MPs.

Speaking at Strathmore University on Tuesday during the international symposium on fighting impunity in East Africa, Justice Lenaola faulted the petition filed on Monday seeking the removal of Chief Justice David Maraga over alleged violation of the Constitution.

The petition, filed by city lawyer Adrian Kamotho Njenga has since been dismissed by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi as a “fishing expedition.”

The judge argued that the constant attacks, profiling and petitions targeting judges is a sign that there is no goodwill to promote interdependence between the three arms of government.

“No judge can feel comfortable if every morning they wake up to petitions. Judicial independence is a principle of the rule of law,” he said.

The judge cited President Uhuru Kenyatta’s threat to “revisit” the judiciary as the best example of the shrinking democratic space in Kenya.

The former High Court judge also charged at Parliament over perennial threats by MPs to cut the judiciary’s budget for failing to toe the executive’s line.

“A judiciary without financial independence cannot operate. In Kenya, whenever we make a decision that the government does not like, they cut our budget,” said Justice Lenaola.

Earlier, a section of Kisii MPs led by Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka defended CJ Maraga from the petition.

“We are extremely uncomfortable with what is happening to CJ Maraga. If Uhuru believes in justice, fairness and good governance then Maraga should not be punished for doing his job. We want to tell him if he is not careful the people of Kisii will not be happy with him,” said Mr. Onyonka.

 

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Story By Samuel Ramtu
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