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September 19, 2017

Jubilee MPs bash Judiciary, Opposition as they debate Uhuru speech

A file photo of NASA leader Raila Odinga, Chief Justice David Maraga and IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati during the launch of the national elections conference. /MONICAH MWANGI
A file photo of NASA leader Raila Odinga, Chief Justice David Maraga and IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati during the launch of the national elections conference. /MONICAH MWANGI

MPs took on the Judiciary as they debated President Uhuru Kenyatta's speech made during the opening of Parliament on Tuesday.

During the Wednesday afternoon debate, a large number of Senators and Members of the National Assembly from the Jubilee side praised Uhuru for his speech.

In National Assembly, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa claimed that there was a cartel from the civil society that was giving instructions to the Supreme Court.

"The Judiciary has a case to answer to the people of Kenya. There are cases we know where the Judiciary has recruited and put in office, researchers who are doing research for judges who are lazy and do not do any research. Many of them are fronted to those offices through some of those evil and civil societies," Ichung'wa said.

He added that it was important for Parliament to question and look into the activities of the civil society groups within the Judiciary.

"It is a fact of life that there is a group of civil society that is influencing the decisions of judges within the Judiciary," Ichung'wa said.

Mwala MP Victor Musyoka also criticised the Supreme Court decision that nullified the presidential election results saying the standard was too low.

"Some simple decisions require a two-thirds majority in this house. Going forward, I think it will be in the wisdom of this house that even when the bench sits to make such decisions as nullifying a presidential election, should require a unanimous decision or a super majority by the judges," Musyoka said.

Read: Kenyans ready for repeat poll, stop wasting their time, Uhuru tells NASA

In the Senate, leaders bashed Judiciary accusing it of joining the opposition MPs in boycotting Uhuru's address on Tuesday.

Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen claimed that the ploy by the officials to boycott the "very important" event was "choreographed or designed."

"Is it that Judiciary decided to follow the decision of one side of the political divide and did they consult with NASA to boycott? The question that bothers me and my fellow senators is that where was the Chief Justice?" Murkomen said.

Murkomen during the debate hit out at the Supreme Court judges for nullifying Uhuru's reelection based on "technicalities" to deny citizens their democratic right of choosing a leader of their choice.

"It is time we ask ourselves what are some of the legislation this House should pass to clarify the foundation of our democracy for the position of the voter," Murkomen said.

Nominated senator Isaac Mwaura and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika said the institution of the Presidency should be respected because it is a "symbol of unity," in criticising opposition MPs and Judiciary bosses for skipping Uhuru's address to the House.

"We don't know whether Judiciary is reading in the same script with NASA. If the Chief Justice was not around, his deputy or other justices should have come to attend an important national function presided over by the president," Kihika said.

Read: 'Hata wewe ungesikia aje?' Uhuru admits Supreme Court ruling left him 'really angry'

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