CJ Martha Koome says Judiciary ready to sort poll disputes

Chief Justice Martha Koome (left) and her Vice President Philomena Mwilu were welcomed by Editors Guild Club's Jillo Kadida (right) during a luncheon at PanAfrica hotel yesterday [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

The Judiciary yesterday said that it is ready to deal with disputes arising from the August 9 General Election.

Speaking during Kenya Editor’s Guild press club luncheon, in Nairobi, yesterday, Chief Justice Martha Koome said the Judiciary will not descend to the arena of politics even if they are forcefully pushed into it and will remain arbitrators who execute their mandate without fear or favour.

“We are prepared to deal with all the disputes that will come; absolutely impartial and dispassionate. Whatever problems they bring to our courts, we reduce them into constitutional and legal issues,” said Justice Koome.

The CJ said that the Judiciary Committee on Elections is implementing a work plan to deal with pre-election and post-election disputes.

The committee which is chaired by Justice Mohammed Ibrahim is also working to develop a curriculum for a judicial academy to train journalists on how to report on judicial related cases that will allow the public to understand some of the abstract matters relating to cases.

She challenged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct free and fair elections to ensure every Kenyans vote counts.

Citing IEBC’s failure to deliver the 2017 elections without irregularities and illegalities in the transmission of results, the CJ questioned the difficulty of counting and transmitting votes without issues.

The IEBC was further put on the spot for prematurely pulling out of the National Multi-Sectoral Consultative Forum on Election Preparedness over what it claimed was “protection of its independence.”

NMSCF which comprised the Judiciary, Ministry of Interior, IEBC and National Cohesion and Integration Commission came up with recommendations to ensure that the coming election is devoid of hate speech, intimidation and violence.

Supreme Court Judge Isaac Lenaola challenged his fellow judges to take a brave stand on state officers who defy court orders and as a result had become notorious for contempt of court.