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President Uhuru Kenyatta ramps up attack on courts over corruption

COUNTIES
By Roselyne Obala | Oct 20th 2016 | 2 min read

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday sustained his onslaught on the Judiciary over its laxity in fighting graft, saying it has been reduced to “a procurement agency of the government.” 

Speaking after witnessing the swearing in of new Chief Justice David Maraga at State House, Nairobi, the President accused the Judiciary of being quick to grant injunctions “on anything” at the expense of swift delivery of justice.

The President said individuals who fail to clinch government contracts had resorted to settling scores using the courts by seeking frivolous injunctions. 

“In fact, in many instances I think the Judiciary has now become the procurement agency of government. So long as you have failed to secure a contract, mtu anakimbia kortni anapatiwa injunction (someone rushes to the courts and obtains an injunction),” said Uhuru.

“The most amazing thing is that the one thing our courts are good at is issuing injunctions for everything. Wewe ni kupeleka mtu kortini (You only take people to court). Injunction, injunction, injunctions. Simamisha hiyo, simamisha hiyo (Stop that, stop that), but we do not see the same proficiency in making rulings.”

His remarks came a day after he strongly called out senior public officers for frustrating his administration’s efforts to fight corruption at a session of the fortnightly State House Summit.

Intense tirade

In an intense tirade, an exasperated Uhuru told off the officers tasked with investigations and prosecution of corruption cases for sleeping on their jobs.

“What is your problem? If there has been theft, tell us if it is Uhuru who stole. What do you want me to do? A lot of nonsense if I may say the least,” said Uhuru in a jibe at the State officials.

Yesterday, he picked up from where he left, defending the Presidency against accusations of abetting corruption and instead blaming the courts, saying they had done little to address the menace.

He challenged Justice Maraga to take up the challenge of reforming the Judiciary, telling him that the country would only progress if the Judiciary were to become more expeditious in terms of giving commercial rulings.

Uhuru expressed disappointment with the pace of conclusion of cases and faulted the courts for being “obsessed” with issuing injunctions while more than 680 corruption-related cases are still pending, five years on.

“Justice, is that me or the new office you are just about to occupy? Who is responsible? Kenyans want to see these cases concluded. Yesterday, it was quite embarrassing as people started blaming each other, oh ni (it’s) Director Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko, oh ni Police, oh ni Judiciary. Why don’t you just conclude these 680 cases and satisfy Kenyans that justice is being done?” he posed.

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