Zack Kinuthia: High Court Judges Should Be Elected

  • Sports CAS Zack Kinuthia has escalated the onslaught on judges who annulled the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). 

    Speaking at Mizani Africa’s Leadership Award on Tuesday, May 18, Kinuthia proposed that judges from the rank of High Court to Appellate should be elected into office by Kenyans.

    This, he argued, would ensure that the judges are held accountable as they would serve on term limits like governors. 

    “Let us not forget where we are coming from. If we can elect MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) or Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands) and even eject them from office, or if we consider that a governor cannot be in office for more than two terms, then we must consider judges too.

    “We must ask that judges be elected by the people so that they are also accountable. We must start having these discussions. I’m not saying we do it tomorrow, but judges can wake up and make bad decisions,” Kinuthia ranted. 

    The 5-judge bench which declared BBI as null and void, on Thursday, May 13, 2021

    CSs, MPs, governors and senators in attendance were divided on his rhetoric, with some applauding and others staring at him in bewilderment. 

    The CAS rallied them to support his political motive arguing that a judge is appointed to office in consideration of their conduct and can only be ejected via a disciplinary board. 

    “It takes a lot of time to remove them from office, unlike us, the common wananchi who cannot even enjoy our holidays and free time in peace. 

    “Whenever you meet Babu Owino (Embakasi East MP), you will note that he is worried and concerned about his constituents. He will rush out to address issues in his constituency at any moment as he is accountable to the people,” Kinuthia attempted to explain his remarks. 

    The former Education CAS added that Kenyans ought to argue politically but desist from shaking the fundamentals of the nation. He disagreed with the High Court ruling, faulting the 5-judge bench for declaring the BBI as null and void. 

    Kinuthia encouraged the Attorney General to file for an appeal in the Appellate Court adding that IEBC should be prepared to conduct a referendum once the High Court ruling is overturned. 

    The CAS’s sentiments came a day after Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju warned judges that they are dependent on the same government they were reportedly fighting against. 

    Tuju in an interview stated that “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.â€

    His remarks irked the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) which reached out to the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i for protection

    “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,” an excerpt of the letter read. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju (left) at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi in October 2015

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