, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29- Human Rights defenders say the recent push and pull over the controversial lawyer affiliated to the opposition Miguna Miguna nationality has opened Kenya to global ridicule.
In a joint statement issued at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) offices on Thursday, they called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to give a meaning to what they term as the golden handshake between NASA leader Raila Odinga and himself, by bringing to end the current stalemate.
The commission chairperson Kagwiria Mboroki has specifically expressed concerns over the continued blatant disregard for court orders, which she cautions can be a recipe for chaos if the trend is not reversed.
“The legal fraternity and the whole country has become increasingly concerned with state’s blatant disregard of lawful court orders as witnessed over the last couple of months. Our Constitution outlines that the authority of the people shall be exercised through the three arms of government: the Executive, Legislature, and the Judiciary, which ought to be independent so as to offer checks and balances,” Mbogori pointed out.
Organizations presented during the issuance of the statement included KNCHR, Media Council of Kenya and the Law Society of Kenya, who jointly condemned the incidents that have marked his return and re-deportation.
“No entity be it the state of the private sector, has the liberty to determine which orders are convenient to obey,” KNCHR chairperson asserted. “And if the state is disgruntled about an order, there are options of seeking to set aside the Order, or appeal. We call upon the Government to lead by example and respect the institutions created by the Constitution.
We are calling upon the State to heed the call and keep the promise of adhering to the rule of law and constructive constitutionalism.”
She said the state should move with haste and handle the Miguna’s “situation” with the “highest degree of professionalism that it deserves and avoid the embarrassment being witnessed at our door-step.”
-The attack on Media-
They also urged IPOA to institute a probe against individual officers involved in the attack of journalists covering the return of Miguna at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday night.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Media Council of Kenya Victor Bwire noted condemned the attack that left 2 journalists with injuries.
“These actions by the police are in total disregard and contravention of Article 33(2) of the Constitution which guarantees media freedom in the line of duty and states,” he said.
“The journalists were at the JKIA legally, guaranteeing the public right to know and posed no security threat to the operations at the airport or anyone else. The actions by the police call into question their commitment to the rule of law and their respect for these fundamental rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.”
-Guilty as charged-
On Thursday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and Police chief Joseph Boinnet have been fined Sh200,000 each for disobeying court orders and failing to produce Miguna.
Also fined is Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa in whose custody Miguna was before deportation to Dubai last night.
In sentencing the three, High Court Judge George Odunga said he found it impractical to send the officials to jail because their juniors are the ones charged with the responsibility of arresting them and taking them to prison.
The judge has ordered that fine is deducted from their next month’s pay.
He castigated them for disregarding the rule of law despite having sworn to protect and uphold the Constitution.