• Chief Justice Martha Koome has called for a meeting with President Ruto to defend the conduct of judges
• Opposition leader Raila Odinga opposes the proposed meeting arguing that it will compromise the independence of the judiciary
Chief Justice Martha Koome has asked for a meeting with President Ruto following his harsh criticism of the judiciary. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has warned the CJ against meeting the President arguing that the executive and judiciary should remain completely separate.
Raila is mistaken, even if President Ruto's criticism of the judiciary has been excessive. The independence of the judiciary will not be compromised if the CJ meets the President. In fact, its independence could even be strengthened if the executive backs off and gives the judiciary more space in which to do its work.
Ruto's frustration with the judiciary is understandable. Multiple government initiatives are stalled after being challenged in court although the most contentious issue remains the threat by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to submit a dossier to the JSC on a judge who he claims is corrupt. And indeed some judges and magistrates have in the past been found to be corrupt and dismissed.
It does no harm to clear the air in private. The problem here is that the executive was airing its complaints in public. Koome and Ruto should go ahead with their meeting.
Quote of the day: "To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them."
The French philosopher was born on January 18, 1689