• The President said judges use their offices to close off any inquiry into their conduct.
• He said courts should not use court orders to insulate themselves from accountability saying that is not democracy but judicial authoritarianism.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has slammed judges who issue orders to shield their colleagues from being investigated.
In a speech read on his behalf by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki during the launch of the State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report(SOJAR) 2020/2021, the President said judicial officers are using their offices to stop the state from investigating them.
The President said judges use their offices to close off any inquiry into their conduct.
“Madam CJ, this is not what the people of Kenya signed up for as they voted in their millions for our new Constitution,” Uhuru said.
He said courts should not use court orders to insulate themselves from accountability saying that is not democracy but judicial authoritarianism.
“In recent times, madam CJ public discourse has been awash with allegations of partisan comprised decisions of judicial officers that are not keeping up with the expectation of our sacred covenant,” Uhuru said.
He further said it has been observed that perhaps judicial officers are preaching water but drinking wine demanding of others what they are not willing to apply to themselves.
“It has not been lost of Kenyans that a state of recent decisions by the judiciary has had the effect of saying the judicial officers cannot be held accountable or be subject to the same laws that other public officers are held to,” he said.
“How can the judiciary have a credible and more voice to preside over corruption cases when it bars its own from the standards of accountability it applied to others?”
The President questioned how the country will the war on corruption if a full third of the government is unwilling to face the rot within its ranks.
While congratulating Chief Justice Martha Koome for being the first female CJ, Kenyatta said the SOJAR report must be a constant reminder that judicial authority is not exercised in a vacuum.
“It must respect the will of the people to uphold our heritage and traditions and strictly confine itself to the scope and limits of the functions delegated to it by the people of Kenya,” he said.
He said Kenyans expect a vibrant and independent judiciary that speaks truth to power in a fair impartial, consistent and accountable manner
“Like other organs and agencies, the judiciary must expect and indeed invite robust feedback from Kenyans on its actions and decisions no arm of government is above critique,” the President said.
Edited by D Tarus
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