A plot to fix Chief Justice David Maraga and Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi has been hatched in the National Assembly by MPs affiliated to Jubilee in a move that the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) say is related to the Supreme Court’s nullification of the August 8 presidential election.
The Nation has established that the MPs plan to introduce a petition in the House against Justice Maraga and Ms Amadi once they have trained and familiarised themselves with parliamentary business.
“The plot is to frame the CJ and Registrar with non-existent charges then pass the resolution in the House to have them investigated by the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) not because the accusations are serious but to besmirch their character,” a source familiar with the scheme said.
The source, an MP, also noted that the EACC will be used as a “political sword” because the schemers are fully aware that they cannot remove the CJ and the Registrar through the Judicial Service Commission.
“They now want to smear him with false charges,” the source said.
The KMJA Secretary General Bryan Khaemba said they will stop at nothing to defend the independence of the Judiciary.
“We are aware of the scheme by a number of MPs to force the Hon CJ and CRJ out of office, following the recent nullification of the Presidential elections. I wish to remind these schemers that the true meaning of the rule of law, is that a country is governed by the law and not men,” Mr Khaemba said.
The latest move comes just moments after Nyeri Town MP Mr Ngunjiri Wambugu filed a petition before the Judicial Service Commission seeking Justice Maraga’s removal.
Justice Maraga is the chairman of the JSC while Ms Amadi is the secretary.
Mr Khaemba noted that disagreeing with a decision of a court is well within the legal system but must be done within the confines of the Constitution.
“What we are seeing here is an attempt by a few individuals who wish to acclaim themselves above the Constitution. Once you question the independence of the Judiciary, then you’re in breach of Article 2 of the Constitution,” he said.
He noted that the Judges and magistrates are only subject to the Constitution and not individuals or institutions.
Though Mr Khaemba said he will leave the matter to the JSC to make an informed decision, he described Mr Ngunjiri’s petition as hollow.
A section of National Super Alliance MPs led by John Mbadi (Suba South) warned the move could be a recipe for anarchy in the country.
“We know these schemes by Jubilee sympathisers. It demonstrates the level of desperation but they should be careful because it is bound to be a recipe for chaos. The Judiciary is an independent arm of the government and must be respected. This is how revolutions are fomented,” Mr Mbadi said.
He continued: “If they go on, they will meet the wrath of the people. They should not think that because they have the numbers in Parliament, they can do anything to subvert the will of the people.”
The CJ is the head of the third arm of the government, who enjoys security of tenure. According to the rules, which govern debate in the House, the MPs can only discuss his conduct through a substantive motion properly filed with the office of the Speaker.
The petitioner must file the notice of motion with the Speaker stating the grounds for removal.
The Speaker will assess the grounds and if he is satisfied that they are substantive, he will give the go ahead for collection of signatures of at least two- thirds of the 349 MPs.
The Speaker’s office will scrutinize the signatures and if satisfied they are authentic, he will designate the legal department of Parliament to draft the motion and through the House Business Committee, set aside the date when the matter will be read in the House.
During a public rally addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Jubilee politicians at the city’s Burma market, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator threatened to sponsor constitutional changes to abolish the Supreme Court.
Mr Murkomen and leader of majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale have been consistent in Jubilee rallies that if Nasa has its way in having IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba removed from office, they will also push for the removal of Justice Maraga