LEADER

Parliament and Judiciary must dialogue

The supremacy battle between arms of government must stop and the office holders start serving the public instead of bickering and flexing muscles.

In Summary

• The supremacy battle between the Judiciary and Parliament is likely to cost wananchi, whom both institutions are meant to serve. 

•  Politicians expire after every five years but their mistakes or egoistic decisions will be felt by the public for a long time.

DP William Ruto, Speaker of the National Assembly and his Senate Counterpart Ken Lusaka, CJ Martha Koome and Majority Leader Amos Kiminya wait for the President at the National Assembly on 27 May 2021.
DP William Ruto, Speaker of the National Assembly and his Senate Counterpart Ken Lusaka, CJ Martha Koome and Majority Leader Amos Kiminya wait for the President at the National Assembly on 27 May 2021.
Image: Fredrick Omondi

When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

This saying aptly captures the supremacy battle between the Judiciary and Parliament, which is likely to cost wananchi, whom both institutions are meant to serve. 

Last week, Chief Justice Martha Koome protested against "frequent, multiple, overlapping and duplicating" summonses from parliamentary committees, a situation she said threatens the functions of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission. 

On Sunday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said if Judiciary accounting officers do not appear before the House committee, then Parliament will not hesitate to deny the Judiciary cash.

Muturi's statement is unfortunate because even though Parliament has the final say on budget allocation, when the Judiciary is punished because its officials did not appear to answer audit queries, it is the mwananchi who suffers.

Politicians expire after every five years — though some are lucky enough to get second term — but their mistakes or egoistic decisions will be felt by the public for a long time.

For example, if Parliament makes good its threat and denies Judiciary money, projects such as automation and building of more courts will stall. This denies citizens access to justice. 

The supremacy battle between arms of government must stop and the office holders start serving the public instead of bickering and flexing muscles.

The two institutions must create an avenue for dialogue and find a workable solution to the issues instead of trading accusations because that is not part of their job description.