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Defiance Of Court Orders: How President Ruto Could Be Following In Uhuru Footsteps

Defiance Of Court Orders: How President Ruto Could Be Following In Uhuru Footsteps

Upon assuming office as the fifth President of Kenya, William Ruto pledged to safeguard the 2010 Constitution and maintain the autonomy of the judiciary.

His initial task was to nominate six Court of Appeal Judges whom his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, had refused to appoint due to intelligence service reports raising concerns against them.

At the State House ceremony in Nairobi where Judges were sworn in, President Ruto pledged to utilize all his authority to ensure that the nation adheres to the rule of law rather than being governed by individual whims or authority.

“Kenya can only be better if we become a country of the rule of law. Anything else leads to anarchy and confusion. We are all equal before the law,” he said then.

“Even as President I have limitations and I should respect them, just like all other arms of government have limitations. We must all live within our mandates… It is the rule of law, not the rule of man.”

This action made him popular among numerous Kenyans and legal experts, who viewed him as a savior sent to rescue the nation from ignoring court rulings and failing to comply with decrees.

Using this novel method, President Ruto was distancing himself from his predecessor, who had been accused of demonstrating contempt towards court orders and members of the judiciary.

Multiple times, Uhuru’s government disregarded rulings from the court, leading former Chief Justice David Maraga to publicly criticize him.

“They are trying to control the Judiciary…They want to make us puppets…Some CSs are saying I will go before the year ends, kumbe hii Kenya ina wenyewe…I don’t serve under the mercy of anybody,” Maraga wailed at the footsteps of the Supreme Court in an address that drew myriad reactions.

After the High Court ruled that his Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) initiative was unconstitutional and invalid, Uhuru characterized it as an irresponsible decision aimed at undermining the desires of the Kenyan populace.


“From nullification of a presidential election in 2017 to an attempt to stop the will of the people as expressed through BBI, the Judiciary has tested our constitutional limits,” Uhuru said then.

“Their decisions must consider the letter of the law, but fundamentally the spirit of the law must also guide them. And I say so because the spirit of the law is the light that will illuminate the burden of the choices they make.”

After being in office for sixteen months, Ruto has shifted his focus and is now initiating a confrontation against judges and judicial personnel whom he accuses of being “corrupt” and acting as obstacles to his government’s plans.

“Those who are trying to stop me have benefited by working with corrupt judicial officials to ensure that my projects are derailed but I will not be intimidated,” President Ruto said on Tuesday.

“Judicial impunity must stop in Kenya…we will stop it..ati sasa hii barabara mahakama imesema tusijenge…tungoje Judiciary mpaka ituambie tujenge…. bwana PS weka pesa kwa hii barabara tuanze kazi.”

This occurred one month following a ruling by a three-judge panel of the High Court that deemed the housing levy supported by President Ruto to be unconstitutional.

Judges David Majanja, Christine Meoli, and Lawrence Mugambi concluded that the implementation of the substantial 1.5% tax was unfair as it placed financial burdens on employed individuals in Kenya while leaving out those employed in the informal economy.

The President has suggested that he might cease complying with court rulings that appear to obstruct his administration’s agendas, sparking significant outcry from both the political and legal circles within the nation.

According to constitutional lawyer Miguna Miguna, following this course of action could potentially lead President Ruto to follow the same trajectory as his predecessor Uhuru.

Defiance Of Court Orders: How President Ruto Could Be Following In Uhuru Footsteps