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5 'kings' who defied court orders, walking scot free

High government dignitaries, including a former president have once disrespected court rulings.


While the seven officials have been jailed for contempt of court, the menace has been widespread across the political divide, rubbishing court orders.

Here are some of the dignitaries that have given a cold treat to the judiciary.

1. Interior PS, Karanja Kibicho


On November 29th last year, the High Court sentenced Interior PS Karanja Kibicho to a three months jail term for defying a court order.

Kibicho defied court orders which required him to pay Michael Mahugu, a Nyayo House torture victim, Sh2.6 million.

High Court judge George Odunga, in his ruling, instructed Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to immediately arrest Kibicho and send him to prison to serve the sentence.

Earlier during that month, the judge had ordered Kibicho to appear in court in person but failed to honour, prompting the ruling. Kibicho had been summoned after failing to honor two other previous sermons.

He said the OCPD at Central police failed to apprehend Kibicho as ordered on October 13, 2016 as both Boinnet and OCPD are Kibicho's juniors in the Interior ministry.


2. Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery

A Mombasa based High Court in November last year ordered the arrest and prosecution of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery for the destruction of a yacht MV Baby used in the suspected trafficking of heroin valued at Sh20 million.

Nkaissery was found guilty of contempt of court for disobeying an order stopping the destruction of a ship which was to be used as exhibit in a drugs-related case.

The court then ordered the Police to hand in the CS for jailing, but till today, he is still a free man.

Chief magistrate Julius Nang'ea asked the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to prosecute Nkaissery with four other government officials for blowing up the crucial exhibit without court orders.


The destruction of MV Baby Iris was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nkaissery in August 2015. Other officials present during the Indian Ocean yacht blow up were Chief of Defence Forces Samuel Mwathethe, Foreign Affairs PS Monica Juma (who was PS Interior), and Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa (then Mombasa county commissioner).

3. Francis Atwoli

In a protracted industrial action as the biting doctors’, Atwoli was in August 2012, found guilty of disobeying a court order by inciting tea workers to go on strike to protest the use of tea plucking machines in 2010.

However, High Court Justice Isaac Lenaola fined the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Sh500,000 or three months in jail if he defaulted.


Atwoli paid the fine and walked to freedom after spending about three hours in the basement cells.

He was also ordered to place a public apology in two local dailies within 21 days for inciting the tea pickers to destroy tea plucking machines.

4. Mwai Kibaki

Former President Mwai Kibaki in 2005 came under attack for disregarding a court order restraining the issuance of title deeds to the Ogiek community.

Earlier, a Nakuru High Court had issued directions restricting the government from issuing the title deeds.


The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) led the church and political leaders in condemning the President's action which, they said, was likely to set a bad precedent.

In the lawsuit filed in 2005, the LSK accused the Government of consistently ignoring court orders and implementing reforms without any legal basis.

5. Agriculture CS Willy Bett

Last year April, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries CS, Willy Bett, was summoned by Justice George Odunga to explain why he should not be arrested and jailed for contempt of court after he allegedly defied a prohibition order barring him from interfering with operations in a unit in the ministry.

Justice Odunga wanted the CS to explain circumstances under which assets and vehicles belonging to Agricultural Sectoral Coordination Unit (ASCU) which is under his ministry were seized despite the court order.


The CS did not honour the court order issued on April 4 to appear in person and explain why he disobeyed court orders. He has since never been questioned on the matter.


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