, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet now says all judges in the country have adequate police officers attached to them as well as at their residences.
In a statement, the IG refuted claims by Chief Justice David Maraga that he has failed to ensure Judiciary officials, premises and their homes are fully secured.
“The truth is borne out of facts and they are plain for any citizen to check and confirm,” the IG stated. “We, therefore, take exception to that assertion by the Judicial Service Commission as it is not founded on any facts at all.”
Maraga had said that the “JSC notes with dismay that the IG who is expected to provide security to all government facilities has repeatedly ignored calls to act, exposing judicial officers, property, and litigants to danger.”
He said incidences such as one that occurred at the Kerugoya High Court on Monday where Kirinyaga gubernatorial candidate Martha Karua was barred by demonstrators from accessing the courts for a hearing of a petition she filed against Governor Anne Waiguru were unacceptable and “should never be allowed to happen”.
Maraga fiercely defended the autonomy of the Judiciary saying it was equal to the other two Arms of the Government – the Legislature and Executive.
“If leaders are tired of having a strong and independent Judiciary, they should call a referendum and abolish it altogether,” he charged.
“Before that happens, the Judiciary will continue to discharge its mandate in accordance with the Constitution and individual oaths of office.”
He addressed journalists even as demonstrations rocked parts of the country over his ruling.
The demonstrators waved placards against the Chief Justice whom they accused of slowing the country’s development after nullifying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory.
The protesters – mainly donning red T-Shirts – were carrying placards demanding the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta or a recount of the votes among others.
– Calls for peace –
Meanwhile, diplomats have urged political leaders and citizens to desist from negative rhetoric and actions that may plunge the country into political turmoil ahead of the repeat presidential election which seems uncertain due to the strict timelines and demands from the Opposition.
In a joint statement, the Heads of Missions said unwarranted baseless attacks levelled against independent institutions like the Judiciary and IEBC risk undermining peace in the country.
“There have been unfounded attacks on individuals and institutions, for instance on the Judiciary and the IEBC. While we support freedom of speech, baseless attacks and lies must stop and leaders on all sides should work to ensure they do,” read part of the statement.