, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – Transparency International says Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi was not justified in his accusation that a clique of judges within the Judiciary was complicit in the frustration of government operations through court orders.
According to TI Executive Director Samuel Kimeu, judicial officers are under obligation to perform their duties and should a complainant not be satisfied, there was the option of appealing in a higher court.
He told Capital FM News that the role of judges is outlined in the constitution which also has measures that one can take should they be dissatisfied with their performance.
“He should remember that those judges have been appointed to serve a purpose within our constitutional framework and if he is willing to continue working within government and within a constitutional framework, then he has to obey the orders coming from court and if he is unhappy with them again, the avenues are there for him to appeal. The avenues are there when he is dissatisfied with individual judges,” he said.
“There is no justification in my view to have those sentiments. The Judiciary is a layered structure. There is no single judge who has a final say on anything. You can start at the bottom and go right to the top. If what Matiangi is saying that he has no confidence in the entire structure that is what he should say.”
He further stressed the need for Kenyans not to belittle those who go to court despite the number of times the seek audience.
“The attacks on the civil society again is completely unwarranted. Everybody in this country has a right to go to court when they feel aggrieved. The constitution has also opened an avenue for us to protect the rights of others whom we may not be related to in any way if we feel their rights are being violated or are about to be violated. Nobody should be vilified for going to court,” he said.
On Tuesday, Matiangi told the National Security and Administration Committee that the increased number of court orders issued against key government decisions is a clear indication that there is collusion.
He alleged that there is an “evil clique” of judicial officers colluding with civil society activists to frustrate government operations with court orders.
He cited recent court orders obtained by Miguna Miguna’s lawyers in which top security chiefs “were required to do the impossible.”
He also recalled his time at the Education Ministry where a parents association official obtained numerous orders that frustrated the government’s efforts to streamline the sector.
The Cabinet Secretary stated that he has asked Attorney General Paul Kihara to file a formal complaint with the Judicial Service Commission over their conviction for contempt of court last week in the Miguna saga.