CJ Koome: State must obey court orders

National
By Standard Team | Feb 21, 2024
Chief Justice Martha Koome. [File, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has faulted the State over its failure to obey court orders and demanded respect from all arms of government.

She insisted on the rule of law and democracy as a national value and principle.

Koome was speaking in Naivasha on Wednesday, February 21, at the closing of a meeting between President William Ruto, the Cabinet, and Members of Parliament and Senate. 

The meeting was convened to take stock of the government’s performance and progress.

The Chief Justice said the Judiciary will cooperate and collaborate with other arms of government in the spirit of interdependence and reciprocation, while preserving its independence.

“However, the other arms of government must also respect the independence of the Judiciary. There shall be more interactions between the Judiciary and other arms of government to communicate the needs of the Judiciary without interfering with its independence in the spirit of cooperative dialogue,” she said.

Her remarks come amid a standoff between the Executive and the Judiciary over some court orders that President Ruto has vowed to disregard. 

The President has accused some judges of being part of corruption cartels that collude to frustrate government programmes, such as Affordable Housing and the Social Health Insurance Act. He has vowed to crush such cartels.

The Judges and Magistrates Association has condemned the President’s remarks as a threat to judicial independence and the rule of law.

In a previous forum, Koome had defended her decision to meet with President Ruto, saying the discussion was meant to address challenges impeding the administration of justice and not undermine judicial independence.

She also warned the judicial officers against being taken down the slippery slope of compromising their integrity and professionalism.

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