Month to polls, twice shy Maraga defends Judiciary’s independence

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – A twice shy Chief Justice David Maraga has assured those with nomination disputes before the courts that they will be accorded a fair hearing within set time limits to allow enough time for the printing of ballot papers.

Maraga has gone on to assure that the ballot printing case whose judgment will be delivered on Friday will be decided on facts and the law with no outside influences.

“We are dealing with cases that have come, the law has not set a limit but we know that it is going to create problems if we continue going on and we have no choice. We are dealing with them as they come and we will continue dealing with them until we finalise them.

“That may upset… assume the IEBC has printed ballot papers with the name of a governor on it and then there’s a petition against that governor and it has come to court and that governor according to the court should not be on the ballot paper or somebody else should be on the ballot paper. It becomes untidy to add the name of that person and all that but we are endeavouring to do our best so that we do not cause problems for IEBC but inevitably there’s not much we can do. We have to deal with those cases.”

READ: CJ Maraga assures IEBC ballot printing will go ahead, elections must take place on Aug 8

The Chief Justice who officially opened the judges’ annual colloquium in Mombasa on Tuesday morning has also dismissed as mere perception suspicions that the even the judiciary is divided along political lines.

He has again also given the assurance that the Judiciary is prepared to handle the disputes that may arise out of next month’s elections in view of the large number of candidates participating.

“This is a critical moment in our nation. The judiciary is here to hold the country together. That’s the message I gave to those present here and that’s the message I gave even to the magistrates; that we should do our best to hold the country together. We should not be aligned to any of the political alignments and that’s why I said we’re going to deal with these disputes, complete them within the times set in the constitution and in a fair manner.”

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