Threats against Kenyan Judiciary is savage in nature – Chief Justice

By David Indeje On September 19, 2017


Chief Justice David Maraga says attacks on the Kenyan judiciary “have become even more aggressive” since 1st September.

“Since the Supreme Court delivered the  judgment on the 2017 Presidential Election Petition on September 1,2017, these attacks have become even more aggressive, culminating in lengthy uninterrupted demonstrations right outside the Supreme Court building yesterday (Monday) and Today (tuesday),” Maraga told the media at the Supreme Court.

He cited the ‘unfortunate’ incident in Kirinyanga County where Martha Karua was blocked by demonstrators from accessing the Kerugoya law Courts for the hearing of her own petition. “This amounts to intimidation of petitioners and should never be allowed to happen. At a time when the Judiciary is starting to hear 339 petitions already filed in various courts,” said the CJ.

Read: Elections: Kenya needs a courageous Judiciary more than ever

The CJ condemned the verbal attacks against the bench have been attacked, threatened and negatively profiled on social media. “These attacks are denigrating, demeaning and degrading and are meant to intimidate, threaten and cow the institution and individual judges. Such acts are not only unlawful but also savage in nature.”

“If anything happens to the individual judge’s, staff  or members of their families, those making inciting statements will be personally responsible.”

Police refute claims

The CJ condemned the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet for ignoring their calls to provide security to all Government facilities. “He has repeatedly ignored calls to act, exposing Judicial officers, property and litigants to danger.”

However, the National Police Service Commission refuted the claims terming the allegations ‘not true at all.’ 

“The truth of the matter is that all Judges have police bodyguards attached to them as well as at their residences. We also provide security to all court houses and as the situation demands in some circumstances, we enhance security with a view to ensuring that courthouses and judicial Officers are secure,” said George Kinoti,AIG.

Maraga who is also the chair of the judicial Service Commission reiterated that, “We are prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the Constitution…We will not allow anybody to dictate to us on how to discharge our mandate as given to us by the constitution.”

He said if political leaders are ‘tired of having a strong and independent judiciary they should call a referendum and abolish it altogether.’ “Before that happens, the Judiciary will continue to discharge its mandate in accordance with the Constitution and individual oaths of office.”

Read: Why Uhuru, Ruto are full of rage, venting anger  at the Judiciary?

“All sovereign power belongs to the people. We, therefore, do not desire to bend to the whims of the Executive or Parliament,” said Maraga.

The Supreme Court nullified the presidential election  and ordered the electoral body to hold a repeat vote within 60 days.

The Court by majority -Chief Justice David Maraga, deputy Philomena Mwilu, Judges Smokin Wanjala, and Isaac Lenaola   ruled that the August Presidential  elections contained “irregularities and illegalities”.

IEBC had declared Uhuru, the Jubilee candidate winner of the presidential vote after he garnered 8,203,290 (54.27 per cent) votes against Mr Raila’s 6,762, 224 (44.74 per cent).

The judges will  read its detailed ruling on Wednesday (tomorrow).

About David Indeje

David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government and society. He has been practicing Journalism since 2008. Environment, Agriculture Business, Health and Gender Development stories are his passion.


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