Leading lawyers have bashed Chief Justice Martha Koome following her eulogy to Charles Njonjo.
The first post-independent Kenya Attorney-General Charles Njonjo succumbed to pneumonia on Sunday at the age of 101.
What angered the lawyers was CJ Koome’s eulogy, where she said that the late Njonjo “distinguished himself as a lawyer and was a great encouragement to other members of the Black Bar.”
“Hon. Charles Njonjo played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Kenyan Bar imparting an exceptional lawyering approach, which centred on the ethos of practice and dedicated statecraft. Hon. Njonjo’s role in the making of the Kenyan republic will stand as (a) testament to the centrality of the legal profession in the establishment of a just state and society,” she posted.
She added, “His legacy will also serve as an inspiring reference for Judges, Judicial Officers and Advocates on the fundamental considerations of trial preparation to expedite access to justice. My prayer and that of the Judicial fraternity, is that God grants his family the courage and comfort to bear the immense grief occasioned by his passing. May our God Almighty rest his soul in peace, eternal.”
However, according to Prof Makau Mutua, Njonjo will go down in history as “one of the most malignant, anti-black, vindictive, and anti-democratic officials in Kenya.”
“I can’t — CANNOT — believe CJ Martha Koome has written such blatant lies about the late AG Charles Njonjo. He will go down in history as one of the most malignant, anti-black, vindictive, and anti-democratic officials in Kenya. He was a key architect of a corrupt, fascist state,” he tweeted responding to CJ’s tweet.
Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi asked the CJ not to rewrite history.
“It is very important for the Hon CJ to be truthful about history...ALWAYS! To state on record that Charles Njonjo "...was a great encouragement to other members of the Black Bar" is a lie...and a cheap one at that!” Ahmednasir tweeted.
Exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna said: "We can excuse self-serving statements from politicians. But we cannot allow you to DISTORT Kenya's history. You are old enough to know that Njonjo presided over the DISMEMBERMENT of the Constitution, oversaw DETENTIONS WITHOUT TRIAL, TORTURE and destruction of the Judiciary."