Gicheru must go, declares DP

April 4, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – The Democratic Party has reignited calls for the resignation of Chief Justice Evan Gicheru, barely a day after President Kibaki expressed confidence in him.

DP Chairman Joseph Munyau said on Saturday that the CJ should pave way for proper judicial reforms in the country.

The party has also expressed concern over the contradiction between the President and Prime Minister over the performance of the Judiciary.

 “When the Prime Minister spoke, I think he spoke for the country and I think he also spoke for the government,” Mr Munyao said. “There should be no contradiction and if there is, they should be consulting elsewhere, not in public.”

Mr Munyao further urged the grand coalition government to concentrate its efforts on giving Kenyans a new constitution.

“We need a constitution, and then perhaps call an election before December. The current system cannot work for long,” he stated.

“We have enough problems; unemployment, poverty, famine, starvation. The government should be more concerned about the hungry man out there.”

On Friday, President Mwai Kibaki rejected a petition lodged against Chief Justice Evan Gicheru by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

In a response to the LSK petition, written by Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura, the President said he had full confidence with the work of Justice Gicheru.

The President had studied the petition presented through the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional affairs, Martha Karua, and concluded that the petition was without merit.

The LSK had written to the President last year demanding the establishment of a Tribunal to investigate the conduct of the CJ, whom they accused of frustrating reforms in the Judiciary.

Ms Karua had accused the CJ of failing to effectively manage judicial affairs in the country.

Led by Gibson Kamua Kuria and Kibe Mungai a group of lawyers have differed with LSK and supported the CJ.

On his part Justice Gicheru said he will not resign unless a Tribunal appointed by the President investigates his conduct.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga  on the other hand had trained his guns on chief Justice Evans Gicheru and the Police commissioner Hussein Ali saying that the government would soon take action against them.

He accused the Judiciary of “rot and incompetence” and the police of a shoot-to-kill approach and impunity in quelling last year’s post-election violence.

The PM had stressed the need for urgent reforms as in the judiciary and police force.

Mr Odinga had accused the judiciary of stalling the war against corruption and asked why criminal cases involving some top government officials remained in court for years. They should be speedily concluded.

The PM said the coalition was on schedule in implementing the reforms it was supposed to under Agenda IV of the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Accord.


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