Politicians cautioned to stop intimidating the courts

Chief Justice David Maraga has cautioned politicians to stop intimidating the courts as it may set a bad precedent in the run up to the August 8th General Election.

Maraga says politicians and members of the public alike should steer clear of Judiciary affairs as a sign of respect to its independence.

“We request that politicians and other members of the public let the judiciary do its work,” said the CJ during the swearing-in of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu as a member of the Judicial Service Commission at the Supreme Court buildings yesterday.

“Judges and magistrates understand their role, they will decide cases of the facts and the law,” he continued.

His statement comes at a time when the National Super Alliance (NASA) has insisted that presidential results are tallied and election outcomes announced at polling stations.

NASA leaders had on Sunday at a rally in Nakuru warned the Court of Appeal against overturning a ruling that presidential results declared by the returning officer at the constituency are final.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) appealed against the High Court’s decision.

Chief Justice David Maraga advised that there was no possibility that judges and magistrates would be intimidated into making rulings in favour of intimidators.

“We do not want statements that are meant to intimidate judicial officers. Judges and magistrates will not determine cases on what is said but based on the law and facts,” he stated.

This as the electoral commission defended its decision to appeal against a ruling to have the presidential election results announced and declared at the constituency level, even too decried of interference to its independence.

“We want to remind all political players in the country that IEBC, just like any other Kenyan, has the right to seek the protection of the Judiciary and the courts on matters that need legal interpretation,” IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati said in a statement to newsrooms.

Opposition chief Raila Odinga on Sunday threatened to boycott the August polls should the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) go ahead to appeal what they termed a loophole of rigging elections.

Chebukati noted that his commission had appealed the high court ruling to seek clarification on powers taken away from him as the presidential elections returning officer.

As the returning officer for the presidential results, the IEBC argues, Mr Chebukati should have the power to tally and announce the presidential results; a position dismissed by the ODM leader.

“There will be no elections in Kenya if it is changed. That will not be our election, but theirs as it will not be under Kenyan law or Constitution.” Mr Odinga told rally at Afraha open grounds in Nakuru on Sunday.

“We shall not accept to have the courts change the earlier decision,” he added.

However, on Tuesday, the Jubilee party leadership came to the defence of the polls team telling the opposition to stop inciting the public against IEBC.

Raphael Tuju, Jubilee party Secretary General said his party cannot be, in any way, brought into the issue of where results can be declared .