NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – The Commission on Administrative Justice and the Law Society of Kenya have both, separately, cautioned the Executive against blatant disregard of court orders.
Both institutions headed by Leonard Ngaluma and Isaac Okero respectively, have warned that it sets a dangerous precedent as it undermines the authority of the Judiciary.
“It is instructive to note that when a court issues an order, it is exercising sovereign power delegated to it by the people of Kenya. As the Commission has stated on an earlier occasion, respect for court orders is not discretionary. All persons must obey them however much they feel aggrieved (by the orders),” Ngaluma’s statement to the press reads.
They, in their respective statements, made reference to the failure by government to comply – in a timely fashion – with orders for the release of the National Resistance Movement’s Miguna Miguna and for switching KTN News, NTV and Citizen back on air.
“We have witnessed the State act in flagrant disobedience of court orders for the restitution of broadcast services and even now the State has acted only in partial compliance therewith. By doing so it is violating the Constitution and exhibiting the characteristics of a dictatorship. Do not lead us into anarchy,” Okero told reporters outside the Kisumu Law Courts on Tuesday.
Their statements come as the Jubilee Party resumes its onslaught on members of the bench, calling into question the independence of Justice Luka Kimaru who on Tuesday barred the arrest of 12 NRM organisers; directing them to instead voluntarily, present themselves to the police.
In response to the failure by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to see to Miguna’s release, Kimaru stated: “As public officers, the Inspector General of Police and the Director of Criminal Investigations are required to lead by example by obeying orders issued by the court. They cannot purport to enforce the law by breaking the law.”
“They have acted clearly in contempt of the orders of this court by detaining Miguna in breach of the orders issued by this court. This court was concerned that they appear not to appreciate the seriousness of their action in failing to comply with the orders of this court.”
Chief Justice David Maraga has previously taken exception to the Jubilee Party’s assault on the officers of the court stating: “We note with concern the audacity of the party as it seeks to select who hears the cases it files in court. The emerging culture of public lynching of judges and judicial officers by the political class is a vile affront to the rule of law and must be fiercely resisted.”