AG Kariuki to Maraga: Your public attacks on Uhuru are personal
The Attorney General Kihara Kariuki has faulted Chief Justice David Maraga’s after the latter called out President Uhuru Kenyattta over disregard of court orders and the rule of law by the Executive.
During a press briefing on Monday, Kihara accused the Chief Justice of taking a personal slant in his second public attacks on the president saying Maraga has made pre-emptive and prejudicial statements about matters that are already in court.
“For the second time in less than a week, the Honourable Chief Justice has resorted to issuing a public statement casting aspersions on the legal propriety of certain actions by His Excellency the President and by the Executive arm of Government at large,” the statement read.
The Attorney General noted that the President has been issuing Executive orders since 2013 and had not in any way interfered with the independence of the Judiciary.
Further, he noted that the public attacks on the President by the Chief Justice do not bode well with Kenya’s system of governance and constitutional democracy.
“These public attacks which have not taken a decidedly personal slant are not only a breach of established norms of Government but are also the more puzzling given the direct lines of communication that exists between the Chief Justice and the President,” the statement read.
The AG noted that while the president was keen on upholding the rule of law, he was not keen on appointing judges whose conduct is questionable.
On why some judges with questionable character were still serving in the Judiciary, the AG noted that it is Chief Justice’s job to answer the question and not the president.
The AG also noted that the Judiciary has always had a backlog of cases including corruption cases that the president had lamented about earlier in the year.
“The Honourable Chief Justice’s statement is an attempt to gloss over the fact that the Judiciary has historically and especially under his leadership suffered case backlogs,” the statement read.
The latest comes after the Chief Justice called a press conference in which he addressed the failure by President Kenyatta to appoint the 41 judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in 2019.
“It is important to clearly and categorically state that this shortage of judges and the near paralysis of court operations has been caused by the President. The President has persisted in his refusal despite orders in two cases requiring him to swear in those judges within 14 days,” said the Chief Justice.