Judges Ask for Police Protection Over BBI ruling

  • The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) has reached out to Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i after five of their members received threats following Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) ruling.

    In a statement dated Tuesday, May 18, KMJA members revealed that the five judges, had been receiving threats since declaring BBI null and avoid in a May 13 ruling.

    “On 13th Day of May 2021, a five-judge bench of the High Court of Kenya delivered the now famous “BBI Judgment†which has elicited various discussions. That judgment has since been appealed against. We urge everyone to allow the Court of Appeal deal with the appeal. In the event of dissatisfaction, a further appeal be made to the Supreme Court without resorting to any personal attacks.

    “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,” read the letter in part.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga at KICC in Nairobi for the National launch of BBI signatures collection exercise. November 25, 2020.

    The five were Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita.

    The judges are now demanding that investigations be opened into the attacks and that its members should be provided with security by the state.

    “We call upon the Inspector General of Police to immediately investigate the said utterances with a view to prosecuting the culprits. The Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government should immediately assure Kenyans that our Judges and Judicial Officers are safe given the sensitive nature of their assignments.

    “We also urge the relevant officers of government to immediately engage the judiciary to ensure the security of all judges, magistrates and kadhis,” they stated.

    They further maintained that they could not be shaken by threats but would continue dispensing their mandates to the public.

    After the rulings, politicians, mostly allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga expressed their displeasure in the ruling.

    While appearing in on a TV interview on Monday, May 17, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju warned the 5-judge bench that they depended on the same government they were reportedly fighting and frustrating. 

    He further accused them of disrespecting President Uhuru Kenyatta by referring to him as “Mr”, and also limiting his powers in his role as a symbol of national unity. 

    “Judges should learn the word ‘interdependence’ because as soon as they finish a ruling, they need policemen to escort them home as guards or drivers. The world is much more complicated. 

    “We are a little more humble than the judges who say this is what is, period! If you don’t like it, period!” Tuju castigated the judges in what his critics termed as a premonition of the government withdrawing the justices’ security. 

    The relationship between Judiciary and government has been rocky since the era of Chief Justice David Maraga after the latrer accused the former of reducing its funding.

    CS Raphael Tuju reprimands the 5-judge bench which discredited the BBI bill on Thursday, May 13, 2021

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