29 March 2013

Kenya: I Am Sorry, Uhuru Tells Supreme Court Judges

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Kenya's Supreme Court.

President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has apologized to the Supreme Court over "casual" remarks he made about the six judges hearing election petitions filed against him.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Uhuru said he meant no disrespect to the judges.

"We respect the Supreme Court and we will await its verdict. It was not my intention to sound casual in reference to our Supreme Court Judges. For that reason, I offer my sincere apologies," he said.

He said his informality may have been interpreted as disrespect for the court but that was not the case.

"My informality may be interpreted as disrespect for the court and that is not the case, in referring to the Supreme Court Judges, my language may have been casual and not 100 percent correct but there was certainly no disrespect," he said.

While addressing elected MPs, senators and county representatives during a Jubilee Coalition retreat held at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha on Wednesday, Uhuru said he was looking forward to working with a disciplined Parliament and senate. " I look forward to listen to you once some six people decide. Whatever they'll decide we're ready. We hope that you are ready," he said.

His comments elicited criticism especially on social media where Uhuru was accused of being disrespectful and denigrating to the Supreme Court judges.

Yesterday, Uhuru said while addressing the Jubilee coalition elected officials, he told them of his willingness to get to work except of the petition challenging is election.

"Yes, I said it is pending before six guys and we have to await their decision. However, the Legislative Arm of Government must go on and l and my deputy challenged them to begin the Jubilee agenda in the National Assembly and in Senate without delay," Uhuru stated.

The Jubilee leader added "I am used to being called Kamwana and appreciate that people refer to me fondly as such despite my official designation. The spirit and context in which I made the comments is that we must await the decision of the Supreme Court on the way forward for the Executive arm of Government".

Last year Prime Minister Raila Odinga was also forced to apologize to the Judiciary after he claimed that in arriving at the election date, IEBC was interpreting a decision by 'korti bandia', meaning fake or kangaroo courts. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga then warned that Judiciary should be respected at all times.

"I would like to appeal particularly to leaders to be conscious of the heavy ramifications some of their statements could have for our society and caution them to exercise their rights of free speech within the realm of the law," he said.

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