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CJ Martha Koome dares Ruto in fierce response to attacks on the Judiciary

Chief Justice Martha Koome has broken her silence on the Executive's sustained attacks on the Judiciary, daring the President who has been leading the attacks

Chief Justice Martha Koome

Chief Justice Martha Koome has broken her silence on President William Ruto’s sustained attacks on the Judiciary in which the President accused unnamed judicial officers of being bribed to stall his government’s projects.

In a terse statement delivered at the same auditorium where she led judges of the Supreme Court in unanimously upholding President William Ruto’s win, CJ Koome dared the President and his Deputy as well as politicians who have alleged corruption within the Judiciary to produce evidence of the same.

CJ Koome accused the executive arm of government of attempting to undermine the independence of the judiciary and eroding gains made over the years.

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CJ Koome on how complaints against judges are processed

She noted that days when officers would be hounded out of office by name-calling are long gone and urged judicial officers to discharge their duties in accordance with their oaths of office and in accordance with the law without being intimidated by the attacks.

“We are ready to process any complaint against any judge or judicial officer who is implicated in corruption or any other act of misconduct. However, such complaint must be lodged and processed in the manner prescribed by the Constitution. Days are gone when officers were hounded out of office through name-calling.

“I will continue to urge our honourable judges and Judiciary staff to continue discharging their duties in accordance with their oaths of office and in accordance with the law, and you should do this without fear of intimidation and without any favour,” CJ Koome stated.

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She noted that there are provisions within the constitution and structures to process accusations of corruption against judicial officers, adding that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has the capacity to process the complaints.

“The JSC, which is the body mandated by the Constitution to deal with matters of complaints, will only act on the basis of evidence and not on blanket statements or allegations that have not been substantiated,” she stated.

She urged Kenyans to fiercely defend the independence of the Judiciary and the Constitution, noting that the gains made came out of sacrifices, including loss of lives.

“These are sacrosanct promises of our Constitution...they are gains for which Kenyans died, lost property and limbs to have...therefore, they must remain our true north always,” the CJ noted.

Ruto's accusations

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The president is on record accusing unnamed judicial officers of being corrupt and stalling a number of government projects.

The Head of State even went a step further to allege that the previous government that was led by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta even had a budget to bribe judges.

The sustained attacks saw lawyers take to the streets in protest on Friday, January 12 2023.

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