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Tough talk: Jubilee accuses Maraga of favouring the opposition

By Jacob Ng'etich | Published Thu, February 15th 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 15th 2018 at 09:58 GMT +3

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has written to Chief Justice David Maraga, accusing him and the Judiciary of poor leadership, bias, impunity and double standards.

In a strongly worded three-page letter to Maraga, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju detailed seven cases where his party believes the Judiciary had shown it was favouring the Opposition, something that is likely to start a war with the Judiciary.

Uhuru’s party claimed the Judiciary was being controlled by National Super Alliance (NASA) and ODM as well as "cartels of tenderprenuers who were bleeding the country by aiding fraud".

In what appears like the "revisiting" the President promised when he voiced his displeasure with the Supreme Court's ruling that annulled his victory in last year’s August 8 elections, Tuju pointed a finger at the number of rulings that, he said, favoured the Opposition.

While reacting to the court's ruling a day after his victory was annulled on September 1, 2017, Uhuru made the infamous "we shall revisit" remarks. He said the country had a problem with the Judiciary that needed to be fixed.

Maraga, Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu, judges Smokin Wanjala and Isaac Lenaola were in favour of annulling the poll while judges Jackton Ojwang and Njoki Ndung'u dissented.

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Tuju's letter comes a day after Mr Kenyatta picked three nominees to sit in the Judicial Service Commission. The three are former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei, former Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda and former clerk of the National Assembly Patrick Gichohi.

On Tuesday, the President also made changes in the office of the Attorney General, nominating Justice Kihara Kariuki to replace Githu Muigai and lawyer Kennedy Ogeto as Solicitor General.

Tuju complained that when NASA boycotted the repeat elections that the Maraga-led bench had ordered held in 60 days, the Supreme Court did not reprimand the Opposition for defiance.  

“I state the following not to provoke you but to submit that no power is absolute, for the Judiciary, executive or legislature, irresponsible actions from Judiciary, executive or legislature can burn the country, with all due respect you almost burned the country after the elections of August 8 2017,” he said.

In the no holds barred communication, Tuju listed case by case the rulings by courts the party felt favoured the Opposition.

Tuju said when JP went to court to challenge the legality of NASA leader Raila Odinga's withdrawal from the repeat elections, the Supreme Court went ahead to give a post facto date, thereby denying them the opportunity to be heard on time.

“The Supreme Court saw nothing urgent with this petition to the court, and gave a hearing of October 27th, a post defacto date. This was like a naughty wink to NASA to continue with their contempt of the Supreme Court,” his letter reads in part.

Uhuru’s party said in the Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa case, seeking to alter the date of repeat polls from October 26, the Supreme court ‘fast-tracked the hearing of the case and scheduled it on a public holiday indicating the court’s favouritism.

Tuju further said even after the Judiciary upheld Uhuru’s victory on the repeat polls, NASA has continued to defy court orders with abandon including going on with the ‘swearing–in of Raila’.

He further accused Maraga of failing to offer leadership on the swearing-in, and instead saying that every judge has a right to rule the way they deemed fit for cases before them.

“I sincerely hoped that you were misquoted otherwise this would have been taken to be another wink at NASA to continue with their nonsense.”

Communist Party

Efforts to reach the Judiciary for a response on the matter were futile.

However, NASA chief executive Norman Magaya said the letter was a clear manifestation that Jubilee had become allergic to the rule of law. The lessons Jubilee has been learning from the Communist Party of China are now evident, he claimed.

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang'ula said Tuju was being used by those who were "ruling with impunity".

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said everything in the letter was factual. "How many court orders have the Opposition defied? It is clear they are skewed in their decisions, sometimes in favour of the Opposition."


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