7 July 2014

Kenya: Cord Leaders Not Liable for Damages - Lenaola

Photo: Jack Owuor/The Star
Opposition leader Raila Odinga (left) with President Uhuru Kenyatta share a light moment (file photo).

High Court Judge Isaac Lenaola has issued a stay order for an earlier ruling he made holding Cord principals Raila Odinga, Moses Wetang'ula and Kalonzo Musyoka liable for any damages that might occur as a result of the Saba Saba rally being held at Uhuru Park.

Lenaola has however sought to clarify that the order only applies to liabilities where the three are concerned and that it will only apply until tomorrow when the case is to be heard.

He said that the leaders will face charges if they make inflammatory statements or incite the crowds.

Lenaola also maintained that the leaders are still not allowed to call for mass action or declare the day a public holiday as July 7 is not a public and any calls for people not to report to work are null and void.

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko who initially filed the case to have the rally stopped said that all parties to the case had consented to the liabilities order issued by the court.

"It is hypocritical for Cord to accuse the executive of using the judiciary to muzzle democracy and freedom when their own lawyer was in court and accepted the conditions which the judge then when ahead to record before reading the ruling," said Sonko.

Cord leader Raila Odinga has said that the coalition will ignore a ruling delivered by the Nairobi High Court barring them from calling for mass action during the planned Saba Saba rally scheduled for July 7.

Raila had termed the ruling as Kenya moving backward and giving reason for the calls for national dialogue to be heeded.

"Rulings like the one issued against Cord today only fortify our concern that Kenya is marching backwards to the dark era, instead of forward to a happier, freer society that we long desired and fought for," Raila said in a letter addressed to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.

Raila added that the ruling was a breach of Article 37 of the Constitution which allows picketing and demonstrating, and further took issue with the judgement that the Cord principals would be held liable for any undesirable outcome as a result of the rally.

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