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HomeNewsCJ Koome Confronts President Ruto Over Judiciary Attacks

CJ Koome Confronts President Ruto Over Judiciary Attacks

CJ Koome Confronts President Ruto Over Judiciary Attacks

Chief Justice Martha Koome has finally come out to address recent attacks directed towards the Judiciary, most notably by President William Ruto who accused the legal arm of government of corruption and deliberate attempts to stall key government projects.

CJ Koome, in an internal memo to judges and Judiciary staff seen by Citizen Digital, condemned the remarks as they touch on matters presently still being deliberated in court, noting that they can hence only serve to intimidate judges to rule in a certain way.

The CJ went ahead to urge the judges and judicial staff to continue exercising their duties by the law and without any undue influence from any authority, adding that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will protect them.

“My Office and the Judicial Service Commission have made it clear to the other arms of government and the general public that the proper way to challenge a court decision if one is dissatisfied, is to appeal or seek review in a higher court. Attacking judges and Judicial Officers who decided public undermines all the values of our Constitutional order,” she stated.

“Such attacks or comments when made on matters which are pending before any court also violate the sub judice imperative which is a rule of law derivative and therefore a foundational national value and principle of our nation, as stated in Article 10 of the Constitution.”

Koome added: “When State or public officers threaten to defy court orders, the rule of law is imperiled setting the stage for anarchy to prevail in a nation. Indeed, defying court orders would breach the public trust vested in State and Public Officers who should at all times act in a manner that is consistent with the purposes and objects of the Constitution.”

The CJ went ahead to add that allegations of corruption in the Judiciary, as was made by the Head of State, should be presented to the JSC, and not discussed in public events.

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She further pledged to engage with the two other arms of government, the Executive and the Legislature, in a bid to obtain information on the said corruption claims and seek to address them.

“Declarations of corruption in public events and activities without corresponding procedural reporting mechanisms expose an institution such as the Judiciary to public suspicion and distrust,” she stated.

“This trend, if let to continue will break down the governance structures set up by the Constitution exposing Kenya to anarchism as opposed to democratic reverence and the rule of law.”

CJ Koome subsequently released a separate public statement in her capacity as the Chairperson of the JSC, in which she continued to express concern at the vilification that judges who issue orders perceived to be unfavorable by the government have been subjected to.

She stated that, according to the Constitution, both the Judiciary and the Executive are equal arms of government, hence judges will continue with their mandates without fear or favour and in total disregard to any attempts at intimidation.

“Where a citizen obtains a court order against the State and that court order is deliberately ignored or disobeyed by State officials, the right of access to justice is undermined because it fatally attacks the effectiveness of the legal system on which ordinary citizens rely to have their rights and legal duties enforced,” stated the JSC boss.

“The JSC assures all Kenyans that any allegations or complaints of misconduct or corruption by any judge or judicial officer will be dealt with firmly and swiftly by the Constitution. The JSC has a proven record of taking action against any judicial officer who is found to have breached the Judicial Code of Conduct and Ethics or engaged in corrupt practices.”

CJ Koome Confronts President Ruto Over Judiciary Attacks

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