What you need to know:
- UDA party had written a protest letter to CJ Martha Koome saying her role in the elections preparedness committee could jeopardise next year’s polls
One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals have joined allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga in defending Chief Justice for being part of the 2022 election preparations.
According to the OKA leaders, since the election is a governance process, all the government institutions need to come together to ensure that all necessary measures are put in place.
Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party had written a protest letter to CJ Martha Koome saying her role in the elections preparedness committee could jeopardise next year’s polls
Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi said that CJ Koome being part of the National Multi-Sectoral Consultative Forum for Elections Preparedness does not take away the independence of the Judiciary.
He added that since the Judiciary plays a key role in elections, the institution needs to collaborate with other government agencies to prepare well ahead of the polls in order to dispense justice to Kenyans in a fair manner.
“Once in a while, government agencies get together to look at broad preparedness of certain institutions when we head into elections so that if there are issues that require the Judiciary or any litigation, the Judicial arm must be well-prepared to allow that process to take place.
“We want quick dispensation of justice, the Judicial section must also be allowed to have its own space so that it can deliver and dispense Judicial issues in a fair manner to all Kenyans,” said Mr Mudavadi.
Mr Mudavadi also insisted that the IEBC should be supported in order for it to hold free and fair elections next year.
“As they consult, what is key is that the independence of any of those institutions should not be interfered with. It should be a collaborative effort to smoothen the democratic processes and dispensation of justice in the country,” he said.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, another OKA principal also took issue with Deputy President William Ruto's team for attacking the Chief Justice for participating in the election preparedness asking the Tanga Tanga lawmakers to let the CJ do her job.
"Respect the judiciary, please get out of judiciary and leave Martha Koome alone to do her work. She underwent serious vetting and it was established that she is more qualified. How will you get votes from Meru when you start disturbing Koome," said Mr Musyoka at an OKA rally in Bungoma.
DP Ruto's lieutenants led by Garissa Town MP Aden Duale called on the Chief Justice to exit the multi-agency committee on election preparedness.
Mr Duale said since the Judiciary is the arbitrator of election petitions, the head of the Judiciary should not participate in the preparations of next year's polls.
"As the President of Judiciary and chairperson of Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Article 140 and 165 of the Constitution, obligates the Judiciary, more so Supreme Court and High Court, in determination of election disputes hence there is no provision for Chief Justice to sit in a technical multi-sectoral committee dealing in management and preparedness of the next General Election," said Mr Duale.
"It has never happened since independence. Under the new Constitution, we never saw Judge David Maraga and Judge Willy Mutunga sitting in the preparation and management of the General Election," he added.