Retired Chief Justice David Maraga has opined that President Uhuru Kenyatta should have been impeached by now over violation of the Constitution.
In an interview with Citizen TV’s Joe Ageyo on Thursday night, just days after he officially handed instruments of power to Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, the former President of the Supreme Court said Parliament has failed Kenyans for failing to hold the President accountable for disregarding the Constitution he swore to defend.
Maraga pointed out that the Head of State had intentionally declined to appoint 41 judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) despite court orders by the courts compelling him to do so.
“There are three court orders directing the President and even giving him a time frame and he has not appointed them. As far as I’m concerned, that is a violation of his constitutional duty,” said Maraga.
“In fact, I should say if he was in other countries, the President would be impeached for that. Because he swore to defend and uphold the Constitution.”
He reiterated that nobody is above the law, not even the President.
Asked on what should be done now after the President’s failure to appoint the judges as directed by courts, Maraga boldly said, “I believe there is a provision for which Parliament if it wanted to, can use to impeach the President so that everybody is held accountable.”
According to Maraga, the National Intelligence Service did not reveal to him the integrity issues it had with some of the candidates which made the President not appoint the judges, hence his numerous appeals to the President to appoint court officials without further delay while he was still in office.
He noted that there could be people who don’t want the judges sworn in for personal reasons.
Maraga had a number of times last year accused the President of derailing the process of appointing the judges as proposed by JSC in 2019.
“The refusal of the President to appoint the 41 judges, was a grave violation of the constitution,” he said in June last year.
“If you file a land case in the environment and land court at Milimani in Nairobi today, the earliest your case will be heard is in 2022. The Court of Appeal has only 15 Judges serving the republic with a caseload of 7,315 as at 31st March 2020,” he stated.
In his interview yesterday, Maraga reiterated that budget cuts affected Judiciary as it could no execute its roles efficiently.
He has in the past accused the Executive of frustrating the Judiciary following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn President Kenyatta’s 2017 victory.
On matters Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), Maraga said the proposal to create Office of Judiciary Ombudsman, whose holder shall be appointed by the President, will usurp the powers of the JSC and curtail the independence of the Third Arm of government.