Attorney General Githu Muigai defends newly passed security law
By Kamau Muthoni and Fred Makana
| December 30th 2014
Attorney General Githu Muigai has defended the newly introduced Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 arguing that the court cannot grant temporary orders as this would jeopardise the fight against terror insurgents.
Responding to the application filed by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), the AG said the law passed and assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta has given security personnel the ability to counter terror activities and if it is shelved, it will mean Kenyans will be left at the mercy of the perpetrators.
Through Solicitor General Njee Muturi, the AG said the emergence of new threats in the country, like the use of improvised explosives and the uncontrolled refugee accommodation, had prompted the Government to seek the discretion of Parliament to control the probabilities of getting attacked.
"We currently have forces in Somalia and it is important to note that the country has been attacked several times. The law, as it is, enables the security personnel to counter threats posed to Kenyans. The issue of life is more important than anything else," Mr Muturi argued.
Retracing the history of terror attacks since 2011, Muturi said the country has suffered 30 times this year alone.
In his submission on why the court should not issue temporary orders, Muturi argued that the law was already in operation and had been used to declare curfews in places like Lamu.
The rights of refugees formed a central part of the argument with CORD maintaining that limiting the number of refugees to 150,000 individuals would be against international conventions which Kenya is a signatory to.
The Raila Odinga-led coalition told the court that the fate of refugees in Dadaab, Kakuma and other camps is unknown as they would either be repatriated to their war-torn countries or their movements would be limited.
On the other hand, the AG argued that Parliament has powers to increase the number of refugees if it was deemed fit. He said refugees would not suffer any bias if the law is implemented.
The case has attracted more parties with Katiba Institute and Kituo cha Sheria in support of CORD.
Justice George Odunga directed the parties to appear before him on Friday January 2, 2015 when the court is expected to rule on whether to issue temporary orders suspending the security law or not.
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