BY TIMOTHY BOSIRE
A recent High Court order gagging Kenyans from commenting on the eligibility of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North Member of Parliament William Ruto to vie for the Presidency in the coming general elections should be taken with a pinch of salt.
I have this gut feeling that the taking of the complaint to the High Court was a carefully crafted and executed wider scheme to trap the Chief Justice and hence the entire Judiciary into a vilified legal technicality corner to invalidate its constitutional authority to preside over any issues related to the matter once it officially crops up.
If Kenyans recall well, our Chief Justice has never at any time ventured carelessly into this matter. We respect him and have confidence in his capacity to negotiate legally challenging political matrices.
The only time Chief justice Willy Mutunga veered near that matter, he generally pointed out the provisions of Chapter six on integrity in leadership and warned Kenyans who have integrity issues (which included crimes) to be wary. If by citing that some people construed it to mean he had targeted the two, so be it!
What many of us read in the move to rush to court to get prohibitive orders in the direction of our Chief Justice is that a section of our political class have decided to get strategic in an effort to paint the Judiciary as being biased against the two ICC candidates hence bar its participation in deciding their eligibility to vie for the presidency.
Now, that is a clever way of blocking the provisions of our Constitution on integrity from being applied to the two when concerned citizens decide to weigh their bid against the laws of the land. Impunity is manifestly fighting back. This should never be allowed!
That, therefore, is a sad turn of events. The long, costly and painful reform battle in this country was aimed at enhancing the rule of law, which is only guaranteed by the existence of a free and vibrant Judiciary.
Kenyans also envisaged politics that is tame and open to public and legal probity, not a regime where judges and the public are blackmailed to stop pushing for full adherence to constitutionalism.
Are we witnessing the initial steps towards, placing the two presidential Wannabe’s above the law?
Why is somebody getting offended by the CJ’s public recitation of what the supreme law of the land dictates? Could a conniving group be creating legal technicalities to make enforcement of integrity laws for public office leadership impossible?