LAW TO BE DEFINED

Judges to visit Kenyatta's statue in new notes case

Judges to establish whether Kenyatta's statue is part of the KICC building.

In Summary

• Justices George Kimondo, Anthony Murima and Asenath Nyaboke said the session will be a formal court session and court may invite comments of parties.

• The Central Bank of Kenya has denied claims that the new generation banknotes bear the portrait of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Display of some of the new Currency during press conference in Nairobi on June 3, 2019.
Display of some of the new Currency during press conference in Nairobi on June 3, 2019.
Image: ENOS TECHE

High Court judges will on Thursday afternoon visit the founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's statue to establish whether its part of the KICC building.

A three-judge bench hearing the case challenging the use of the statute in the new currency notes said it will observe representations of the statue and the KICC on the new notes.

The bench said they were persuaded to make a visit to the site following arguments by rights activist Okiya Omtatah that will enable the court to determine for itself whether or not the first President's statue is part of the KICC building.

 

Justices George Kimondo, Anthony Murima and Asenath Nyaboke said the session will be a formal court session and court may invite comments of parties.

The Central Bank of Kenya has denied claims that the new generation banknotes bear the portrait of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Governor Patrick Njoroge in a response to Omtatah’s suit said prior to adopting the usage of the KICC image on the front of all new notes, the CBK on October 4 2013, sought legal advice from the then Attorney General Githu Muigai.

Githu advised the CBK that the image of KICC was not in contravention of the law.

Njoroge says KICC is a key national monument in Kenya under the National Museums and Heritage Act and should be preserved as depicting the very essence of Kenya and its national heritage.

Omtatah in his suit accused the Governor of violating the Constitution by having a statue of Kenya’s founding president at the back of all the new notes.  

He also accused CBK of not conducting public participation in the design stage to determine its imagery.

 

But the Governor argued that the process of design, printing and issue of the new currency was strictly conducted in compliance with the Constitution and the law, was neither tainted with illegality nor unconstitutional as alleged by Omtata.

Omtatah also wants the court to admit his amended petition.

He says he has come across new material evidence necessitating the petition to be amended.

“The proposed amendment is necessary for determining all the questions in controversy and the amendment is necessary to avoid multiplicity of suits,” he says.

The matter was listed for hearing on Wednesday.

The court was ready to continue with hearing however Omtatah had not filed his submissions.

The bench directed him to file his documents by close of business on Wednesday.


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