The Star (Nairobi)

21 February 2013

Kenya: Be Thankful for Independent Chief Justice

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman, Issack Hassan has addressed the alleged threats to the chief justice including the ... ( Resource: Kenya's Electoral Body Addresses Alleged Threats to Judiciary

editorial

YESTERDAY Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he had received threats but said he would not be intimidated. He referred to an alleged Mungiki letter apparently threatening the judiciary over the Uhuru Ruto integrity case.

He was also angry about an attempt by immigration officer to stop him traveling to Dar-es-salaam last week on the orders of Office of the President PS Francis Kimemia. And he was concerned about five violent attacks on judges.

The immigration officer was clearly being over-zealous. The Chief Justice is second in protocol after the president and cannot be beholden to a PS. The Mungiki letter may or not be genuine but it is certainly a matter of serious concern.

The executive was out of order in trying to block Mutunga's travel. Under the separation of powers, the judiciary operates independently from the executive.

The executive now needs to redeem itself. It must investigate and find the authors of the Mungiki letter. Mutunga said he released his statement to make it clear that he would fiercely resist any intimidation.

In 2007, the courts were not trusted to adjudicate on a disputed election result. Coming up to this election, we should be thankful that we have such an independent-minded CJ and judiciary.

Quote of the day: "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against." - Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965

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