Over the last couple of years, it is an open secret that the Executive and Judicial branches of government have not been seeing eye to eye.
For the longest time, former Chief Justices Dr. Willy Mutunga and David Maraga’s tenures endured frosty relations with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
Lady Justice Martha Koome is the new head of Judiciary, and renowned lawyer David Matsanga is urging her to deploy a different approach to avoid what befell her predecessors.
“I want to be on record that the former two Chief Justices and few other judicial activist officers were hell-bent to oppose every policy statement originating from the Executive in a bid to undermine President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Government.” He said
In light of the ongoing stalemate over the appointment of judges, Matsanga advises Koome to avoid what he termed as ‘Roof Top Diplomacy’ and take a path that will ensure she fulfils her promise to Kenyans when she sought the job.
“Lady Koome should choose dialogue as opposed to confrontation. Former CJ Maraga chose confrontation and that left anxiety to date.” He said
Matsanga, who is also the Chairman of the Deterrent Formula Group, says the ongoing tug-of-war between the Executive and Judiciary has a variety of consequences, that are counterproductive to the nation’s well-being. He says the situation has the potential to negatively impact the performance of both arms of government.
He asked her to follow the example of her counterparts in other commonwealth states such as Britain, where judges are respected because they rarely address the executive in ‘public barazas.’
“Lady Justice Koome knows the existence of formal mechanisms of communication with the President and My Lordship Lady Justice I tell you that such public meetings are not one of them,” Dr. Matsanga said
On the six judges whose nomination was rejected, Matsanga insists that Article 166 2 (C) of the 2010 constitution protects and grants the President powers to look into the moral character, integrity, and impartiality of the judges before appointment.
At the same time, Dr. Matsanga wants Lady Justice Koome to embark on what he described as a serious mission to evaluate and ensure the judiciary is rid of some individuals who are serving at the behest of foreign organizations.