Inside Politics

Raila faults CJ Martha Koome for meeting Ruto at State House

Monday, January 22nd, 2024 14:59 | By
Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga. PHOTO/@RailaOdinga/X

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga has faulted Chief Justice Martha Koome for meeting President William Ruto at State House in Nairobi.

Speaking in Maweni village in Lamu West Constituency, Raila termed the meeting between Ruto and Koome as an irresponsible move by the latter.

"If there is supposed to be dialogue, the dialogue should be held in a neutral place. The State House is the seat of the executive. If there is going to be a dialogue over issues of governance, it should be held on a neutral ground. This (meeting) means that the judiciary is being compromised by the executive. The judiciary is being held hostage by the executive," Raila stated.

According to the opposition chief, through such, the country is falling fall to the era of dictatorship, which was led by former President the late Daniel Moi.

"We have seen this before. We saw it happen under the rule of Mr Moi. We have tried to caution the current Chief Justice not to go to bed with the executive. This is an unfortunate development. We want to hope that members of the judiciary are not going to be compromised. We want the judges to remain firm and do their work in accordance with the law," Raila added.

Koome meets Ruto

On Monday, January 22, 2024, Koome met Ruto in the company of National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Attorney General Justin Muturi and Solicitor General Shadrack Mose.

The meeting follows a request by the Chief Justice, following incessant attacks from Ruto, part of the executive and some MPs allied to the government.

Last week, Ruto agreed to the meeting, saying he is ready for talks to root out corruption from the three arms of government.

Speaking in Tinderet, Nandi County on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, Ruto said he is ready to hold talks with the judiciary and the legislature regarding corruption.

"Chief Justice Martha Koome said we need talks, and I have accepted. We have to fight corruption by all means. This is the year we are going to sort out corruption in Kenya. I am ready for talks between the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. I am ready for the conversation on how we are going to deal with vested interests, incompetence, and especially corruption whether it is in the judiciary, legislature or the executive because it is derailing and sabotaging the potential of Kenya," Ruto stated.

"I welcome the conversation and I am going to lead from the front so that we can deal with the monster that is destroying our country. We are going to deal with those who benefit from the status quo, those who have taken hostage the universal health coverage, who do not want us to change the system, to make it transparent. We are going to have a conversation about the people who want the status quo in our housing programme," he added.

Koome had faulted Ruto, who had vowed to disobey court orders that derail government agenda and development.

"It is regrettable that the leadership of the executive and legislature in their recent public declarations have threatened not to obey court orders. These threats and declarations are extremely serious and a monumental assault on the Constitution, the rule of law and the very stability of the nation and can lead to chaos and anarchy in our motherland,” Koome said.

Attacks on judiciary are a recipe for chaos and anarchy, warns CJ Koome
Chief Justice Martha Koome during a past session. PHOTO/Judiciary Kenya (@Kenyajudiciary)/X

According to Koome, the attacks by the President amounted to harassment and intimidation of judicial officers.

"When judges are attacked publicly and they are hearing live matters, they feel intimidated, they feel harassed, they feel like they are being ordered to rule in a certain way. Actually, they get embarrassed. We have a principle in law called sub judice, when the matter is pending in court, in as much as possible, let us not discuss it in the public domain because the judges are not in that public domain," Koome stated.

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