Jubilee, CORD seek to score points in Tunoi saga

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula

The recommendation that Justice Philip Tunoi faces a tribunal over the Sh200 million bribery claims threatens a fresh political storm.

Some CORD leaders say the outcome of the tribunal, could re-open debate on the presidential election petition.

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma) and Senator Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East) and Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) told Jubilee that they would ask for a review of the presidential petition should they continue politicising the matter.

On the other hand, MPs from the ruling Jubilee coalition led by the National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale now want Justice Tunoi to disclose other Supreme Court judges who received the alleged bribe.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Friday recommended that the judge be probed further by a tribunal to be formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 14 days.

Mr Wetang’ula yesterday accused the Jubilee administration of witch-hunt in the case and said the Opposition will demand justice in the matter.

“We are following the matter keenly and we want to see justice served in Tunoi’s case. If there is evidence then we will accept but if it’s just witch-hunt we will not accept,” he said. The Opposition, he said, will not watch the government victimise the country’s judges for selfish political interests.

He claimed that government’s plans to weaken independent institutions had become clear, making reference to the recent amendments to give the President powers to appoint and dismiss the Chief Justice and Inspector General of Police.

“You can see how President Uhuru Kenyatta is violating the Constitution. He has amended the Constitution to give him powers to appoint Chief Justice and Inspector General of Police which is against the Constitution,” said Wetang’ula.

Mr Duale asked Tunoi to declare publicly with whom he shared the alleged Sh200 million bribe.

“Formation of a tribunal should not only be about Tunoi. How can you separate between him and the other six judges who read the same judgment? It was only Justice Ndung’u who had a contrary opinion,” he said.

He demanded that the tribunal should also investigate the other judges who delivered the ruling, including Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, in the Evans Kidero and Ferdinand Waititu election petition.

“I understand Dr Mutunga had written asking to retire in June 2017 two months early before his tenure expires. However, with all these allegations and bad image that has tainted the highest court in the country, he should contemplate resigning sooner than that,” he added.

Mr Wamalwa also weighed in in the matter saying should the tribunal establish the judge receive the bribe, then CORD would also demand for the reopening of the presidential petition in which CORD leader Raila Odinga challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.

“It is now clear that there is a lot of corruption in the Judiciary. Should Tunoi be found culpable, as CORD we would demand the presidential petition filed by Raila be re-visited,” he said.

Mr Junet questioned why Jubilee MPs think that Mr Waititu’s (Kabete MP) case was more important that the presidential petition.

He said the Opposition has more damning report about the presidential case but have chosen to respect the Judiciary.

“We chose to respect the Supreme

Court decision because we believe in democracy, however much we doubted the decision. We have more damning report about the presidential petition and what happened but because we care so much for this country and act in a responsible way we chose to accept and moved on,” said the Suna East MP adding that lawyer George Oraro has a damning affidavit that “would shock the world should he make it public”.

“I am sure we may not get the support of NIS but the world will be shocked when we show what happened to the presidential petition of Raila verses Kenyatta,” he claimed, adding, “Whatever Jubilee is upto let them put Kenya first.”

Waititu has since demanded the Court of Appeal ruling that ordered a gubernatorial by-election for Nairobi County be reinstated.

“It is an offense both to the seller and buyer of justice as per Article 73(2) and 75 which outlaws bribery of all sorts. Dr Kidero should therefore step aside until the anticipated tribunal clear him of all wrongdoing.” said Waititu.

The Kabete MP said he will be heading to the Supreme Court on Monday to have the judgement delivered on the Nairobi gubernatorial election petition set aside.

But Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, said this is a supremacy war in the Judiciary, and he does not want sucked into it.

Senator Khalwale yesterday warned MPs against politicising the matter.

-Additional reporting by Aaron Ochieng’ and Rushdie Oudia