Chief Justice David Maraga has condemned National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale’s attack on High Court Judge George Odunga, saying the Judiciary...
Chief Justice David Maraga has condemned National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale’s attack on High Court Judge George Odunga, saying the Judiciary will not be intimidated and blackmailed.
In a press release sent on Thursday, Chief Justice Maraga said under his leadership, the Judiciary and judges would continue to discharge their constitutional mandate “independently, fairly, impartially and firmly as guided by the Constitution”.
“We will not be intimidated and blackmailed, either as individual judges or as an institution. This is what we owe the Kenyan public, as well as to our oaths of office,” he said. “Hon. Duale must stop the public lynching of judges who are merely performing their constitutional duties.”
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Aden Duale, a member of the ruling Jubilee coalition accused Justice Odunga of playing tribal politics and being partisan. He said this when judge was hearing or preparing to rule on a legal challenge by the Opposition to proposed amendments to election laws that were before Parliament. In his ruling, Justice Odunga said nothing could stop the court from reversing any decisions that would be made by the House.
Mr Duale said: “And I want to tell one Judge Odunga, when we open on January 24, I will introduce a motion to discuss you. We will expose you. You cannot be a member of the Bench and play tribal politics”.
The legislator said the Judiciary “had come of age and was the most independent in Africa” but the judge’s actions had threatened the new-found independence.
In his statement, Chief Justice Maraga said Mr Duale’s comments were in opposition to the rule of law and civil conduct of leaders of a constitutional democracy.
“It impinges on hard-won independence of the Judiciary, which is one of the hallmarks of the transformed Judiciary Hon. Duale is celebrating, as he lays the premise for the attack on the Honorable Judge,” he said.