Chief Justice Martha Koome has castigated the call by former CJ Willy Mutunga on judges to go on strike over government’s failure to obey court orders.
Koome disapproved with Mutunga, with the current CJ asserting her obligation is to defend the doctrines of the constitution.
“I have, with tremendous respect, expressed my deepest disapproval personally to the retired Chief Justice and restate herewith to the people of Kenya that my foremost obligation is to defend the tenets of Judicial Authority espoused under Article 159 of the Constitution,” Koome said.
Koome further said that the implications of calling for a judicial strike are far-reaching, adding that it is imperative that the holders of those offices examine the implications of that regrettable incitement that would disrupt access to justice for millions of Kenyans.
"The implications of calling for a judicial strike are far-reaching. It is, in part, calling for the suspension or dismemberment of the Constitution by excluding one arm of Government from the constitutional operations of our democratic state," Koome said.
The CJ could not fathom how Mutunga was inciting judges to down their tools, given he served as the country's first Chief Justice under the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and took an oath to diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya and to impartially do justice.
Koome marvelled why Mutunga, who adopted a diplomatic style of solving issues when serving in the Judiciary, was going against the oath taken.
“While serving as Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission, Mutunga disproved any action by Judges to down their tools when three Supreme Court Judges were indicted with allegations to down their tools. He did that by laying charges before the Judicial Service Commission calling for the removal of Justice Mohammed Ibrahim, Justice J.B Ojwang’ and Justice Njoki Ndung’u, a position he maintained even in Court,” she said.
In an earlier statement by Mutunga, the former CJ urged judges in the country to go on strike over what he termed as an incessant disrespect of the Judiciary by the Executive arm of government.
Mutunga said that it is high time the Executive showed respect to the Judiciary, saying that the stand-off between the two arms of government would lead to a more worrying situation.
In June this year, Mutunga made a similar call to President Kenyatta, asking him to step down if he was not ready to respect the law.
Mutunga peened down a four-page scathing attack asking President Kenyatta to instead resist “those who have built a thriving pettiness cottage industry, completely consumed by the pursuit of personal vendetta, at the expense of the national good and Kenya’s fledgling constitutional democracy”.
The former CJ’s move seems to have been engineered by Uhuru’s adamancy to appoint six Judges despite a court order.