What you need to know:
- Dr Matiang’i alleged that there is a clique of judicial officers in a competition to stall the government from performing its roles.
- Justice Maraga insisted that the Judiciary is guided only by the evidence and the law in making its decisions.
Chief Justice David Maraga and the Law Society of Kenya on Thursday mounted a spirited defence for judges accused by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i of having an “unholy alliance” with activist lawyers that the minister said were out to embarrass the government.
While refusing to comment on the specifics of the case, saying it was now before the Court of Appeal, Justice Maraga said that the judges of the judicial review division and those of the constitution had been unfairly targeted for being the ones that presided over most cases.
The LSK, on the other hand, demanded that Dr Matiang’i apologises for his comments.
Justice Maraga insisted that the Judiciary is guided only by the evidence and the law in making its decisions and, even though he admitted that judges make mistakes, he insisted that appealing the decision should be the only recourse.
“It is not true that any judges have been captured by the opposition, as it is being said,” Mr Maraga told journalists in Nairobi.
“It is the orders they are issuing in their normal course of business. They could make mistakes in those orders.
"And we are saying, if they make mistakes, let there be an appeal. And when it is filed, wait for the matter to be dealt with. That is why I do not want to comment on the minister’s comments. Let the Court of Appeal deal with that.”
While appearing before the National Assembly Security Committee on Tuesday, Dr Matiang’i lamented about what he said is a clique of judicial officers not more than five, that he alleged is in a competition to embarrass the government and stall it from performing its roles.
Dr Matiang’i, Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet and Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalang’wa were convicted for contempt of court in the second deportation of opposition lawyer Miguna Miguna.
And, in an interview with NTV, LSK president Allen Gichuhi said that Dr Matiang’i’s comments had caused unnecessary alarm.
“The use of the word ‘evil’ was very unfortunate, and we condemn it, and on that, the CS should apologise. Judicial officers should remain independent and should not be exposed to any fear,” Mr Gichuhi told NTV.
The LSK president called for a meeting of the National Council on Administrative Justice to discuss disobedience of court orders.
Of the judges singled out for working with the civil society, Dr Matiang’i only identified Justice Roselyn Aburili by name, but told Parliament they “are not more than five”.
Justices Odunga, who reported to his new Machakos station on Wednesday, Luka Kimaru and Chacha Mwita have also handled the various cases involving Dr Miguna.
“We have the Judicial Review Division, and the Constitutional Division. That is where they are dealt with, and invariably, you find that they are dealt with by the same judges,” the CJ said yesterday in Nairobi.