East African Judges condemn Ruto's attack on judiciary

President William Ruto .[Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The East African Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA) has backed Kenyan judges and magistrates who called out President William Ruto over his onslaught on the Judiciary. 

EAMJA President Keitirima Eudes noted that the government ought to have used legal channels to address its concerns.

“EAMJA underscores the significance of addressing any grievances against judicial officers or their decisions within the acceptable framework. Any concerns or disputes must be handled through established legal channels, respecting the principles of due process and the separation of powers,” Eudes said. 

The Association further urged the government to stick to its commitments to regional, continental, and international instruments that underscore the importance of preserving the independence of the judiciary. 

The judges' and magistrates’ sentiments follow President William Ruto’s recent attack on the judiciary, accusing judges of engaging in corruption, which has derailed the progress of his development agenda.

“It is not possible that we respect the Judiciary while a few individuals who are beneficiaries of corruption are using corrupt judicial officials to block our development projects,” Ruto said on January 2.

“We are a democracy. We respect, and we will protect the independence of the judiciary. What we will not allow is judicial tyranny and judicial impunity.”

The association also called on the public to stand in solidarity with the judiciary, adding that its independence is key in safeguarding democracy. 

Ruto’s ongoing attacks on the judiciary have drawn criticism from legal professionals and the public, with the latest, the Law Society of Kenya calling for protests to protect judicial independence.