New twist as judges association expresses security concern over BBI ruling

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 18:12 | By
The five-judge Bench that declared the BBI bill unconstitutional. Photo/PD/File

The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) has expressed concern over recent remarks by politicians and key BBI proponents in regard to the High Court ruling that stopped the constitutional amendment process. 

Through a public statement, the judges took issue with the ongoing public discourse elicited by the High Court ruling adding that the latest criticism against the Judiciary was a direct attack to the courts.

“We call upon the Inspector General of Police to immediately investigate the said utterances with a view to prosecuting the culprits," the judges said.

KMJA also asked the Interior Cabinet Secretary to immediately assure Kenyans that Judges and Judicial Officers are safe given the sensitive nature of their assignments. 

Basing their argument on the 2010 constitution, the judges said judicial authority is derived from the people and shall be exercised by the courts and tribunals established under the constitution.

“KMJA is therefore alarmed by the daily attacks directed at the individual judges who sat on that bench. Such attacks are an affront to the decisional independence of the Judges and the rule of law,” the statement read in part.

The judges further urged members of the public to allow the Court of Appeal deal with the appeal against the five-judge bench. 

“That judgment has since been appealed against. We urge everyone to allow the Court of Appeal to deal with the appeal. In the event of dissatisfaction, a further appeal be made to the Supreme Court without resorting to any personal attacks,” the judges said.

The statement by the association of judges comes barely a day after Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju was criticised following his remarks on the security of judges.

In an interview, Tuju said that the judges should remember they need security from police after they make landmark rulings like the case in the BBI judgement.

"Judges should learn the word 'interdependence' because as soon as they finish a ruling, they need policemen to escort them home," he said.

The remarks attracted a host of criticism from Kenyans who came to the defence of the judges and accused Tuju of trying to intimidate the Judiciary.

Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi dismissed Tuju saying Judges have a right to security as per the law.

"Raphael Tuju, hear and get me loud and clear. Your buffoonery seems to know no limit. Judges volunteer to serve in an Arm of Government," Havi said.

"Their security is not a privilege but a right. This is not Uganda in the 70s. Cross that line again and you will live to regret it," he added.

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