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No one, not even Matiang'i can be excused for breaking the law

EDITORIAL
By The Standard | April 5th 2018
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security at Continental House, Nairobi. [Photo by Boniface Okendo/Standard]

A culture of defiance is taking root in the country. On Tuesday this week, the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee (PAIC) ordered Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to produce before it the directors of three firms mentioned in a Sh3.3 billion land deal involving the Ministry of Education.

After the directors failed to appear before it, the committee fined them Sh500, 000. By whatever considerations, this was a mere slap on the wrist for the directors. Meru Senator Mithika Linturi later described the director's snubbing of the summons as contempt of the house.

This is symptomatic of what is fast becoming the norm. Leading the way in failing to honour summons by parliamentary committees and court orders is the Executive, yet it has a duty to defend the law irrespective of the circumstances or who is involved. Too many times, Cabinet Secretaries and PSs have simply ignored parliamentary committee summons on important national issues and gotten away with it.

Perhaps what has shocked the nation more is the open disdain for the law exhibited by high ranking government officials who, without fear of retribution, have ignored court orders on several occasions. After the government confiscated Miguna Miguna’s passport and deported him to Canada in February, his lawyers went to court seeking to have it returned, and to have his Kenyan nationality recognised. This led to the court granting them their prayers. In fact, the Immigration Department was ordered to deposit Miguna’s passport with the court. It did not.

Twice, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’I, the Inspector General of Police and the Director of Immigration were asked to produce the self-declared General of the outlawed NRM in court but failed. When directed to present themselves in court, they disdainfully failed to do so, attracting a fine of Sh200, 000 each.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, Dr Matiang’i chose to accuse the Judiciary of schemes against the government, rather than ventilate on the Miguna saga. But then, even if the Judiciary is infiltrated by a clique of ‘evil” judges as he claimed, Dr Matiang’i and his two co-accused should have obeyed the law from the outset when they were asked to produce Miguna after his arrest on February 2. By all means, we disagree with Miguna Miguna, but we recognize that we must all submit to the rule of law. Two wrongs never made a right.

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