NAKURU, Kenya Mar 11 – Deputy President William Ruto has asked independent institutions in the country to stop engaging in partisan politics.
He said independent institutions like the Police Service and the Judiciary should not take instructions from political players.
Ruto, who spoke a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang lashed out at the judiciary for delaying cases, said the government has invested heavily in such institutions to ensure they have resources to execute their mandates professionally and in accordance with the Constitution.
“We expect the Inspector General of Police to provide leadership that will ensure we have a professional and independent police service that does not bend to political interests and partisan considerations,” said Ruto.
“The biggest threat to democracy is when police become partisan or respond to certain political interests while ignoring others,” he added.
The Deputy President said the Police Service will be held accountable for the safety of Kenyans and their property.
“The police service has no excuse and should not try to apportion blame to anyone or any side. They have a duty to ensure that every citizen, their property and rights are protected,” said Ruto.
The Deputy President spoke today during the funeral service of Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri’s son Arthur Kinyanjui Kimani held at Nakuru Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) grounds.
He said the Judiciary should disregard external forces trying to undermine its independence.
Ruto urged members of the Judiciary to conduct themselves professionally and ‘stop listening to lectures from some quarters’.
He said it was the duty of the Judiciary to stand firm and defend all the other institutions.
“An independent Judiciary is the pillar of the rule of law. We expect the Judiciary will stand up to be counted as an independent institution,” he said.
The Deputy President said all state departments should perform their duties diligently and shun unnecessary blame games.
“Everyone of us should do his/her bit. We will do our bit as the Executive. Independent institutions and the legislature should do their part,” said Ruto.
Present were Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, MPs Susan Kihika (Nakuru County), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Aronn Cheruiyot (Kericho County) among others.
The MPs echoed Ruto’s remarks, saying independent institutions should not allow politicians to use them to pursue their political interests.
Ndindi faulted the government for using its agencies to influence the country’s politics and undermine democracy.
“Let us not involve police and other government agencies in politics because that takes the country backwards,” said Nyoro.
Cheruiyot asked leaders to respect the independence of the Judiciary and give it space to serve all Kenyans equally.
The Kericho Senator asked the Judiciary not to give in to pressure from leaders who want to use it to unfairly prosecute their political competitors.
“I plead with our judiciary to be fair and firm. Convict those who have broken the law but do not convict people on the wimps of people drunk with power,” said Senator Cheruiyot.
Murkomen on his part condemned the use of violence in the just-concluded London ward by-election.
The Elgeyo Marakwet legislator said it was regrettable that the police allowed hired goons to intimidate and cause violence at the polling station with the aim of influencing election results.
“I witnessed police in uniform supervise goons to beat up MPs. This behaviour is irresponsible and unacceptable and should be a thing of the past,” said Murkomen.
The Senator asked leaders not to undermine the independence of the Judiciary because they too may need its services at one point.
He said it was wrong for Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to ask the Judiciary to selectively prosecute politicians yet he is a beneficiary of the decision of the courts.
“I was very sad when I saw my friend Matiang’i order the court to give a certain amount of punishment to politicians when in true sense it is the court that gave orders that protected Matiang’i from being prosecuted on the Ruaraka land case,” said Murkomen.
Ichungwa asked civil servants to shun divisive politics characterised by violence and instead serve all Kenyans equally.
He urged leaders not to take the country back to the dark ages where the police and other state organs were deeply involved in the country’s politics.
“They (civil servants) must understand that they serve Kenyans equally and fairly and that they are not in those offices to serve particular individuals,” he said.
Osoro said Kenyans will not be bullied to submit to intimidation by police and other state machinery.