Chief Justice Martha Koome has criticized protests by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party over her role in the Technical Working Committee for Election Preparedness.
UDA Secretary General Veronica Maina had written a letter to the CJ on Wednesday asking her to resign from the committee over conflict of interest.
Maina said that the involvement of Koome in the committee is likely to interfere with free and fair elections during the 2022 polls.
But responding to UDA on Thursday, Koome indicated she won’t leave the committee. She dismissed Maina’s claims saying the committee is not made up of politicians who could compromise Judicial independence.
Speaking during the Annual Devolution Conference in Makueni County, Koome maintained that her role in the committee won’t, in any way, affect justice dispensation, especially on matters elections.
“I met an intergovernmental committee on election preparedness, and I was attacked for holding the meeting. The Judiciary cannot deliver justice on its own,” she said.
“[Following the attacks], I was left wondering what would happen if I meet politicians?” she posed.
The party associated with Deputy President William Ruto suggested that Koome should follow the example of her predecessors former Chief Justices David Maraga and Willy Mutunga who never participated in planning for elections through Technical Working Committees.
“From the foregoing, it is our humble submission that you have no role whatsoever in election planning and your participation is similar to allowing a judge to prepare submissions for a client in readiness for a trial only for the same judge to sit, hear and determine the case! As you are further aware, settlement of electoral disputes ensuing from an election is part of the process of free and fair elections,” added Maina.
UDA wrote the letter yesterday, hours after the CJ chaired the committee alongside Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru and Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki.