Judges, magistrates condemn remarks by President Ruto on Judiciary

The Magistrates and Judges Association has urged the Executive to respect the Judiciary's independence. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Judges and Magistrates have called out President William Ruto over his recent remarks on the Judiciary, terming them a threat to judicial independence and the rule of law.

In a press statement on Wednesday, January, The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) noted that Ruto's remarks are unfortunate and are aimed at ridiculing and painting the Judiciary negatively, hence interfering with judicial independence.

"Where the decisions of the Courts are not respected, the rule of law is betrayed and anarchy prevails. Judges and judicial officers cannot work freely with such threats especially when made by no other than the President himself," the judges said.

The Association's Secretary-General Tom Olando called on the Head of State to respect the independence of the Judiciary, adding that the law envisages that where any party is not satisfied with the court's decision, they are free to exercise the right of appeal.

"We must acknowledge that the Judiciary is an independent arm of government, separate from the Executive and Legislative arms. This separation of powers is enshrined in our Constitution and is fundamental to the functioning of our democracy." 

KMJA at the same time stated that by disobeying court orders, the President is disobeying the Constitution which he swore to protect and uphold.

On Sunday, Ruto is quoted vowing to disregard court rulings or injunctions that he said are meant to derail his government agenda by what he termed as 'corrupt judges'.

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