13 September 2017

Kenya: Jubilee Senators Plot Against Judiciary Over Poll Verdict

Photo: The Presidency
Chief Justice David Maraga.

Jubilee senators are planning to enact laws that will make it difficult for Judiciary to interfere with the will of the people at elections.

The Supreme Court infuriated Jubilee leaders when it annulled the outcome of the August 8 presidential election and the party has vowed to express its displeasure enacting the laws.

UHURU ADDRESS

The revelation was made by the Leader of the Majority in the Senate Kipchumba Murkomen on Wednesday when the House formally started debate on President Kenyatta's Tuesday address.

During the debate, the senators, mainly from Jubilee Party, restrained from direct attacks of the judiciary but chose to dwell on claims by the opposition that President Kenyatta is only enjoying temporary incumbency.

The lawmakers hailed the president's speech, saying it was all inclusive and captured the mood of the country.

"We shall pass laws to protect the decision of the voter to stop some institutions from making decisions that annul the decision of a voter," Mr Murkomen said while moving debate on the motion.

THE BILL

The legislators said the purpose of the law would be to protect the right of citizens where their sovereign right is robbed through legal technicalities.

"The law will clarify the foundations of our democracy because the decision of the Supreme Court is unacceptable," Mr Murkomen said in the second sitting of the House that was for the second time boycotted by the members of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

Mr Murkomen further questioned the failure by the Judiciary to abscond from President Kenyatta's address to the new Parliament, insisting the decision was an extension by the third arm of the government to aid the Nasa agenda.

"The failure by the Chief Justice David Maraga and his deputy was choreographed. It was agreed upon with Nasa to prove that Mr Uhuru is not the president after rendering such serious decision that annulled our victory," he said.

'DISRESPECT'

Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura (Jubilee) said the President's address to Parliament is a serious constitutional issue that other arms of government cannot ignore at their own whims.

Senator Johnson Sakaja (Jubilee, Nairobi) said the decision to abscond the president's speech was a show of disrespect to the executive and asked Justice Maraga to separate individuals from the office they occupy.

"There is no question on the legality of the president's address and there is no reason why Judiciary absconded from an important event that is an aspect of Kenya's entrenched democracy," he said.

Senator Susan Kihika (Nakuru, Jubilee) said the no-show by the judiciary was disheartening and proof that Supreme Court judges were reading from the same script as Nasa.

ODM

Only Senator Imana Malaki (Turkana, ODM) and Ledama ole Kina (Narok, ODM) from the opposition attended Wednesday's sitting.

They attended even as it emerged that the opposition had pulled out of all House business until after the fresh presidential election on October 17.

Professor Imana played down the importance of the president's speech, arguing that its words did not reflect the national mood and that his speech had chosen words that only resonated with his own audience.

He pointed out words like "existing peace", "democracy" and "sovereignty" as used in the president's speech, saying they did not reflect reality.

He said opposition candidates in Turkana faced insurmountable odds to win their seats at the General Election.

BRIBES

"The people of Turkana voted but their own sovereign will is not reflected in the outcome of the presidential election. What we saw on August 8 was a selection," he said, pointing out that elections in Kenya are devoid of democratic choice.

"It was not democratic because voters were cajoled, pushed, threatened and in some cases bribed with food to vote for Jubilee candidates. Some of us were elected because God wanted it," he said.

Senator Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu, Jubilee) challenged MPs to rise to the occasion and demonstrate leadership, saying they have an obligation to be true defenders to the Constitution.

"Let's debate and stand for issues and desist from being divided," he said.

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