by David Karani
Chief Justice David Maraga now claims that there is a plot by the Executive to remove him from office before the end of this year.
In a press briefing outside the Supreme Court building on Monday, an agitated Maraga took on the Executive arm of the government for frustrating his office and the entire Judiciary.
“Some CSs (cabinet secretaries) are saying I will go before the year ends, kumbe hii Kenya ina wenyewe?” posed an obviously agitated Maraga.
He decried the under-funding of the Judiciary and continued failure to accord him and his office the respect he deserves. He listed down the cuts the judiciary has had to take but fell short of saying the courts might grind to a halt beginning next year.
“We have a huge backlog of cases which continue to pile because of lack of funds to even move judges around,” he said.
“Some judges are not able to get fuel for their cars and we have to ask them to get money from their pockets so that we can refund them. We should be given at least Sh5 billion every year for us to operate properly, or at least a reasonable amount,” he noted.
Maraga further gave examples of instances where the Executive undermined him and his office, citing failure to be invited and recognized in State functions.
He also claimed he has been denied access to the VIP lounge at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) yet junior government officers are given access.
“Let the office of the CJ be treated with dignity,” he said
He cited Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa on October 20th where his presence was not acknowledged.
“I have decided that unless I am treated with the dignity due to my office, I will choose which of those State functions I will attend,” he stated adding that he drives an inferior car compared to that given to Speakers of National Assembly and Senate.
” The CJ has no Mercedes car, when we applied we were told to keep to the minimum of a 2500cc car to avoid wastage yet both speakers have 5000cc Mercedes vehicles. That is just one incident.”
“You recently read of the order to remove traffic clearance for the CJ yet the same was given to junior officers and you were told that it was a mistake…very interesting.”
“CSs and PSs are cleared to enter State House before the CJ. The CJ is always told to wait at the sidelines,” he added.
He further pointed out that he is treated respectfully in other countries than in his own country.
“The last Mashujaa Day, the CJ was allowed to walk to the dais through a sidewalk and the MC did not acknowledge his arrival despite doing it to other people,” he remarked.