Thursday, 1 November 2012

What Judicial Reforms, Mr. Chief Justice?

Dear Dr. Willy Mutunga,

Greetings and salutations from a fellow humble citizen. I won’t waste time on further social niceties, seeing as you are a busy Chief Justice, and I am a busy young lady too.  I just wanted to let you know how incredibly impressed I was during your state of the Judiciary Report Launch, more so with the number of dignitaries attending than anything. My, you have a lot of support it seems. I was equally impressed with the state of the Judiciary report itself, though it was a bit long winded for my taste.

Looks like almost one year after you’ve taken up office, you’ve managed to get the judiciary to catch up with the 21st century in terms of providing courts and making justice more accessible to the general public plus the introduction of new technology means a greater number of people can keep up with judicial law reports.  And while these impressive measures lend a rather superficial feel to the delivery of justice in Kenya, I must admit, that the change of robes and dress code in the corridors of justice make the dearth of actual reliable judicial process rather festive. 

Why, I am sure, when Justice Warsame made his initial unconstitutional ruling against the Judges and Magistrates Vetting board, seeking to suspend their activities, he was dressed in those new robes too, possibly with a swanky haircut to boot. Oh I know, he isn’t as cool as you, doesn’t have an earring to display, but still, you know, that did not stop a high court justice from making a ruling that contravened the very constitution he was sworn to uphold. Actually, Mr. CJ, I was wondering if swearing really is necessary anymore, seeing as the word of a Judge is about as useful as a verbal agreement, that is, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. Maybe, we could allow for a freer society if in our court rooms we no longer bind witnesses by making them swear to the truth, we’ll just take their word for it. Oh and that will of course affect perjury laws, but I digress.

Back to the matter of Judges who can’t be trusted. Your own Deputy CJ recently took the prize for being an astute spinner of reality. Truth be told, (pardon the pun) she was right about the selection of Judges for her appeal. It was your selection after all, an indicator of how powerful you really are when it comes to the future of judges, even judges of the Supreme Court, as was your Deputy.

So I find it rather astounding, that though the will of the people as expressed in the constitution of Kenya has been delivered by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting board and judges sent packing, The High court can then decide that it has jurisdiction over this constitutional body and bar the sacking of judges, and they can do this, underneath your very nose!

Oh I know, you didn’t hire the Judges, the JSC did that. But then I have to question, what then is your vast power for?  I don’t mean the super powers your earring gives you, you being a man of all faiths. I mean the power of Czar over Kenya, first person of the constitution and Judiciary, surely your office being so powerful as to determine the future of your former Deputy, has the same power to determine the future of obviously corrupt judges.

My deep angst with you is settled upon this one fact, that you do indeed have the power, and are yet to act. What are you waiting for, due process, perhaps? Shall we let this fiasco go all the way to the Supreme Court only for you to pre-select Judges who will find a ruling that is favorable to the Vetting Board? Don’t bother with all the semblances of propriety; superficiality is really your undoing. Go ahead, fire those judges, pap! After all, they won’t bother to disguise their impunity either. 

Well, we knew it was going to be a fight to create actual judicial reforms, and what you need to know is that you are not dealing with gentlemen or gentle ladies. So kindly, Mr. Chief Justice Sir, take off your gloves and get down and dirty. 

With all my support.

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