CJ Koome should have met President Ruto at KICC - Raila

The opposition leader claimed that a neutral venue would have ended speculation.

In Summary
  • Raila also wondered why National Assemby Speaker Moses Wetang'ula attended the meeting.
  • He said the Judiciary should follow the law and go through Parliament in seeking additional funds.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga during the celebration of PNU's 15th anniversary on January 31, 2024.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga during the celebration of PNU's 15th anniversary on January 31, 2024.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga now says the meeting between President William Ruto and Chief Justice Koome should not have been held at State House.

The Azimio leader said on Saturday that Koome could have asked that the meeting be held at a neutral venue like the Kenyatta International Convention Centre(KICC).

"State House is the seat of power for the head of the executive, going there shows that the Judiciary has been captured,'' Raila said.

Speaking during a wide-ranging interview with Meru FM on Saturday, Raila suggested that alternatively, Parliament would have hosted such a meeting.

"There was already conflict because the head of the executive was not happy with the rulings of the courts, going for a meeting there shows that the judiciary had surrendered,'' he said.

Raila said there was nothing wrong with the president meeting the CJ.

"They can meet anywhere, but for an official meeting that must be held in a neutral venue,'' Raila said.

The ODM leader said that the statement released after the State House meeting had a lot to be desired.

"They did not tell us how they addressed the issues that brought about a conflict with the Judiciary,'' Raila said adding that the CJ should follow the Parliamentary route when seeking more funds.

At the same time, Raila wondered how National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula ended up in the meeting at State House.

"How did the speaker attend the meeting and decide with the president to give the Judiciary more funds without going through parliament,'' he said.

On January 22, President Ruto held talks with Koome at State House in a bid to end the stand-off between the Executive and Judiciary over corruption claims against judges.

Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetang'ula, Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu and Attorney General Justin Muturi were also part of the meeting.

Early in January, President Ruto accused the Judiciary of teaming up with cartels to stall his legacy projects.

"I want to announce here that a few people with vested interests who are beneficiaries of corruption in NHIF are now ganging up with corrupt judicial officers to stall reforms so that fake hospital claims will continue," he said during burial in Nyandarua.

The utterances made on January 2, elicited reactions from several associations.

On January 15, CJ Koome said that the Judiciary had written to Ruto seeking an audience with the view to establishing the genesis of his complaints against them.

The CJ said the Judiciary was ready to interrogate the concerns the President has with the system.

“He might have received information because we have various machinery and agencies for collecting information and we would like to engage him so that he can give us that information," Koome said.

“So we will be looking out for that dialogue, we have written and I believe that the President is going to give us an appointment.” 

President Ruto later agreed to hold talks with the Judiciary.


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