Kenya opposition challenges controversial security law

December 23, 2014 2:32 pm


The matter will be heard on Wednesday at 11 am where also a petition brought forward by human rights activists will be heard/FILE
The matter will be heard on Wednesday at 11 am where also a petition brought forward by human rights activists will be heard/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 23 – The High Court has refused to block the implementation of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act as sought by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) pending the hearing on the constitutionality and validity of the law.

High Court Judge Justice Isaac Lenaola said the intent of the law was for the good of all Kenyans adding that he had looked at close to 30 clauses amended by the Act and before he could issue conservatory orders halting the implementation, he had to hear from all involved parties first.

“The wider interest of justice would determine that without hearing the respondents a blanket order to suspend the law would be unfair,” ruled Lenaola.

Lenaola further explained that he had found no evidence of prejudice that the petitioners (CORD) or any other person would suffer if the orders were not issued.

The matter will be heard on Wednesday at 11 am where also a petition brought forward by human rights activists will be heard.

The human rights group which has similar pleas as that of the CORD coalition, however added one more that the appointment of a new Inspector General of Police be stayed pending the hearing of the application.

READ: Uhuru signs security law, blasts MPs conduct

Lenaola had earlier in the day certified as urgent the CORD petition challenging the legality and constitutionality of the Security Laws.

In their petition, the coalition states that the Act which was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta is invalid and that its provisions are inconsistent with the Constitution.

Through lawyers Anthony Oluoch, James Orengo, Amos Wako among others, CORD maintained that the Act was enacted contrary to the Standing Orders of the National Assembly and hence the plot to have the implementation of the Security Act delayed.

Some of the issues raised by CORD include that the enactment of the law did not follow the procedure of Parliament and that the Bill ought to have been forwarded to the Senate for consideration as it was a matter that concerned counties also that that the Speaker of the National Assembly set the tone of intolerance and bias on his part in presiding over the proceedings of the National Assembly on December 18th, when the Special sitting to pass the Bill was held.

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While addressing the press following the Judge’s ruling ahead the hearing, CORD leader Raila Odinga accused the initiators of the law of taking advantage of the festive season to hoodwink the public saying they would sacrifice their festivities to fight for the rights and freedoms of Kenyans.

“Those who conceived these new laws and rushed them through the National Assembly did so in the hope that Kenyans would be too busy enjoying the season to notice the evil being plotted by their leaders. But we love our country and our freedom more than the merry making–we remain alert and we are prepared to forgo the fun and the merry-making and make sacrifices for our country,” said Odinga

He went on state that besides seeking the court’s interpretation of the validity of the new law; they would initiate their own project of sensitizing Kenyans on the merits and demerits of the Act, which is seen by its developers as the solution to the insecurity situation in the country.

“As we wait for the courts to guide us on the legality of the new laws, we will be educating Kenyans on what they mean to our freedom and our country’s future- Be prepared. We are coming to a place near you over this holiday season to save our constitution and our country,” added Odinga.

The passage of the new law has caused sharp division between CORD and Jubilee coalitions, with Cord leader Raila Odinga terming it a strategy by Jubilee to abolish opposition parties and re-establish a one-party state.

Jubilee has defended the new laws and accused CORD of politicizing security in the country.


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