Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday, September 25 rejected three goats gifted to him by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala.
Maraga was in Kakamega County to launch a new building which houses the Kakamega Law Courts, when Malala offered to give him three goats, saying they symbolised the three Arms of Government (Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary) which “should work in harmony”.
The CJ, however, refused to take the goats, saying the judges’ code of conduct doesn’t allow him to take the gifts.
The event was attended by, among others, area Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, area Senator Cleophas Malala, Kakamega Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda and Lurambi Member of Parliament Titus Khamala.
Speakers at the ceremony, including Malala, urged the Chief Justice to rescind his advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta, which calls for the dissolution of Parliament over failure to comply with the two-thirds gender rule.
In his speech, which lasted close to 50 minutes, Maraga gave the advisory matter a wide berth.
Malala had earlier asked the CJ to “mend fences with the Executive and the Legislature by withdrawing his advisory to the Head of State”.
“We understand that the CJ has every reason to secure his legacy. Kenyans have no problem with that zeal and the CJ’s quest to uphold the rule of law and Constitutionalism. However, the CJ should call a truce with the Executive and Legislature by withdrawing his advisory to President Kenyatta,” said Malala.
The Senator, thereafter, donated three goats to Maraga, saying they symbolised the three Arms of Government.
The CJ reluctantly rose to receive the goats, which he immediately handed over to the Chairperson of the Kakamega Law Courts.
During his speech, Maraga said the code of conduct for judicial staff restricts him from receiving gifts worth over Ksh20,000.
“This donation puts me in a bad situation. First, if I’m not wrong, the Senator has a case in one of the courts. These three goats would cost over Ksh20,000, and I cannot accept the animals,” said the CJ.
Earlier, MPs Khamala (Lurambi) and Muhanda (Woman Rep, Kakamega) implored upon Maraga to reconsider his advisory to President Kenyatta, arguing fresh elections would not guarantee that the two-thirds gender compliance would be achieved in Parliament.
Khamala said all Kenyans, regardless of gender, should feel free to vie for elective seats without being forced to consciously consider the gender requirement.
“Given a second chance to vote on the [gender] issue, I would oppose a Bill that gifts women free nomination to Parliament,” he said.