NASA Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga Adviser Salim Lone addresses the media at OKOA Kenya office in Nairobi on Monday 10/07/17 [photo by Boniface Okendo/Standard]
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party yesterday stepped up its onslaught against the Judiciary amid raging criticism from lawyers, workers’ umbrella body and the Opposition.
The party maintained its claims that the National Super Alliance (NASA) was using some judges to scuttle the August 8 General Election so as to precipitate a grand coalition government.
Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto on Sunday, while in Baringo, accused the Judiciary of helping the Opposition in its “scheme” to ensure the polls do not take place next month.
Yesterday in Nairobi, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, his Senate counterpart Kithure Kindiki and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen supported the remarks made by their party leader.
They claimed judges were favouring NASA in recent rulings.
The courts had stopped the electoral agency from using a Dubai-based firm to print presidential ballot papers and an earlier ruling dictating that presidential vote results announced at the constituency are final and can only be reviewed by an election court.
“As Jubilee, we will appeal the judgement by the three-judge bench, particularly on the interpretation of public participation in the procurement of the presidential ballot papers,” said Mr Duale.
Prof Kindiki claimed some of the judges that had been handling the IEBC cases had conflict of interest.
“We know what it means for a judge to be biased. The consequences may be devastating,” said Kindiki.
Mr Murkomen said the public is free to critique rulings delivered by the judges, saying nobody would block Jubilee from expressing its views on judgements it deemed unfair.
In the next two days, we shall be saying more concerning this principle and share with the nation how some judges have crossed the line,” said Murkomen.
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The President’s remarks have been criticised by Chief Justice David Maraga, Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli and Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman Isaac Okero, who termed them “intimidating to the judges and an abuse of the independence of the Judiciary”.
At the same time, National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga through his advisor Salim Lone, said the remarks by the Jubilee leaders were in bad taste and an infringement on the Judiciary.
“The Judiciary is an independent arm of Government as provided for in the Constitution. The President’s action was a clear infringement on one arm against another and is a clear act of impunity,” said Mr Lone.