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Lawyers Fred Ngatia and Philip Nyachoti successfully applied for more time to submit their legal arguments to the Supreme Court and serve the documents on the Attorney General/CFM-FILE

Kenya

Executive must respect court orders-Maraga

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 8- Chief Justice David Maraga has lashed out at the government for its continued defiance of court orders saying it is undermining the rule of law.

Speaking at the Supreme Court on Monday, Maraga cited the Kariobangi evictions where over 5000 people were rendered homeless last month despite an existing court order.

“How can we expect God to bless our nation when we are so callous with the most desperate in our society?”, he wondered, “It greatly undermines the Rule of Law for the government to act in defiance of court orders and this pattern puts at great risk our constitutional democracy because it risks the contagion of lawlessness. The Government cannot demand of its citizens the obedience of the law, which itself disobeys with abandon.”

He further expressed frustrations that he has unsuccessfully tried to secure an appointment with President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the stalled appointment of 41 judges proposed by the Judicial Service Commission.

The Judges were recommended by JSC in July 2019 for appointment to the Court of Appeal, the Environment and Land Court and the Employment and Labor Relations Court formed the basis of Maraga’s frustrations.

“The President has persisted in this refusal despite orders in two cases requiring him to swear in these judges within 14 days,” he said.

The Head of State has been categorical that he will not approve the list of judges sent to him by the commission due to integrity issues, claims Maraga said he is not aware of.

“I have challenged the Executive to table before the JSC the alleged information of lack of integrity it has against some of the 41 nominees. Some of the individuals the Executive claims to have adverse information against are serving judges.”

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And he added “If the Executive’s allegations are true, these persons should not, then, be serving Judges. However, no evidence whatsoever was availed to the JSC both during the interviewing process and after.”

While assuring that his respect for the President was unwavering, Maraga urged him to not only talk the talk on upholding the Constitution but also walk it.

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