MOMBASA, Kenya, Oct 9 – Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga appeared before the High Court in Mombasa as a witness in a case in which a Non-Governmental Organisation has sued the State for damages.
Mutunga was appearing as a witness for the Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri), an organisation he co-founded in 1997 with the late Professor Alamin Mazrui.
Muhuri sued the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police and Central Bank of Kenya for damages when it was linked to the militia group Al Shabaab in 2015.
It is among several organisations that had been de-registered and barred from operating in the country after the sector regulator, the NGO Coordination Board, cancelled their licenses.
Inspector General of Police said they had deregistered the organisation on suspicion of supporting Al-Shabaab activities.
The decision to publish their names was taken after the April 2, 2015 terrorist attack on the Garissa University College in which 148 people were killed.
It took eight months for Muhuri’s account to be unfrozen and given back their licenses.
In the matter, in which Muhuri has listed Mutunga, Khelef Khalifa (Muhuri chair) and Hassan Abdille (Muhuri Executive Director) as its witnesses.
It wants the government to compensate it for the damages it incurred during that time.
Mutunga told the court that he was shocked to hear that Muhuri had been linked to terrorism.
“I was shocked. I wanted to call the Inspector General of Police to ask about the issue, but I was the President of Supreme Court, therefore I could not call to ask, because I respected the decision of the IG,” said Mutunga.
Khalifa said he was affected by the government decision then and that his home was broken into twice by people suspected to be police officers.
They appeared before High Court Judge Dora Chepkwony.
The matter will be coming up on December 17 for further hearing when the lawyers will cross-examine the prosecution witness.