Elections 2017

Jubilee legislators plan to amend law to rein in Judiciary

Elgeyo/Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. 

Jubilee is planning new legislation to reduce the powers of the courts and make it difficult to invalidate the election of the president.

This emerged during debate in the Senate Wednesday when Jubilee-allied senators expressed their displeasure at the Chief Justice David Maraga-led bench's nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta's win and the judges' failure to attend the opening of Parliament.

The senators, who officially begun debate on the President's address, launched a scathing attack on the Judiciary.

In a one-sided session — the National Super Alliance (NASA) senators, led by co-principal Moses Wetang'ula (Bungoma), weres absent, claiming the House it is illegally constituted — the legislators criticised the Judiciary, which it accused of siding with the Opposition.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo/Marakwet) set the tempo, echoing calls by the President and his deputy, William Ruto, that they will revisit the court's conduct after the fresh presidential polls.

"We shall sit down as legislators and pass laws that protect the interests of the voter. These laws will seek to protect the decision of the voter to stop some institutions from making decisions that annul the decision of a voter," said Murkomen while moving debate on the motion.

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"You cannot tell a voter after the marked ballot that an entity made up of simple majority of seven people reverse the outcome. It's like you are in Singapore and want to behave the same as someone living in Mandera County."

He explained that the purpose of the proposed legislation will be to protect the right of citizens where their sovereign right is robbed through legal technicalities.

"Taking President Kenyatta's advice, the law will clarify the foundations of our democracy because the decision of the Supreme Court is unacceptable," he said.

And in the National Assembly Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichun'gwa claimed the Judiciary's independence was in question.

"Our Supreme Court judges are now no longer undertaking independent research to come up with their judgments. Some external forces through civil society organisations have hired researchers for them and even the judgments they are coming up with are a product of these groups," said Mr Ichung'wa.