Chief Justice David Maraga on Wednesday caused an uproar from a section of Kenyans who were unhappy with his decision to accompany President Uhuru Kenyatta in the launch of various development projects in Kisii county.
Maraga’s appearance at Uhuru’s event causes anger
Maraga lands himself in trouble
Maraga was third in line to receive President Kenyatta, after Deputy President William Ruto and ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
The CJ also accompanied the political leaders in a courtesy visit to area governor James Ongwae's office.
City lawyer Nelson Havi, who has hitherto been a defender of Maraga, was among the first to criticize the CJ’s decision.
Reactions to Maraga's Kisii visit
“It is going to be difficult for CJ David Maraga to extricate himself from the public perception that he has been taken hostage by the Executive or has willingly joined it. A CJ cannot be doing this. Not under The Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” Havi said on Twitter.
“This is extremely irresponsible of Chief Justice David Maraga. A new low!” Nairobi politician Benjamin Nkaate said.
A twitter user, Steve Kariuki, joking wondered if the Chief Justice was seeking to replace the President’s aide de camp.
“Kwani CJ Maraga amepata job ingine ya Aide-De-Camp?” Kariuki said.
“What's Justice Maraga CJ, doing in a political event? Is there any courts being inaugurated in Kisii?” Purity Bisieri commented.
“But surely, what is Maraga doing in Uhuru's development tour of Kisii?” This CJ though!” Mwererumawira said.
Constitutional lawyer and second liberation activist Gitobu Imanyara said the CJ’s visit was in contravention of the spirit of separation of powers between the three arms of government.
“That should not have been allowed to happen. Launching a hospital is not a state function. It is the function of the executive. The Judiciary should not appear to be a subsidiary of the executive because we have three independent arms of government, even though the executive is a first among equals,” Imanyara told Pulselive.co.ke.
The veteran lawyer warned that the timing of the visit was particularly inappropriate, coming at a time when the Executive has been accused of meddling in appointing members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which is chaired by Maraga.
He further warned that any attempt by the Chief Justice to appease the Executive would backfire.
"The Judiciary should not be in the business of appeasing the Executive. The powers of the Judiciary are provided for by the constitution," the former Imenti Central MP stated.
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