February 20, 2013
Wednesday this week was a day of shame in Kenya’s post constitution making history. It was the day the nation’s Chief Justice revealed that there have been threats on his life and those of other judges.
Details of these threats apparently came from the outlawed murderous Mungiki sect that had terrorized Central Province for the better part of the last decade.
The same sect was adversely mentioned in the 2008 Rift Valley retaliatory massacres following the disputed elections that saw 1500 Kenyans slaughtered in various parts of Kenya. At that time, at least by the ICC reports, Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura were alleged to have organized for them a meeting at State House to plan the Rift Valley retaliatory attacks in Naivasha, Gilgil, Molo, Nakuru and Eldoret. Uhuru Kenyatta, President Kibaki and Francis Muthaura denied these allegations.
Now, five years later, the same Mungiki have come to the defense of Uhuru and William Ruto’s candidacy. The threat was made on the eve of the judgment that contested the duo’s integrity to seek public office.
If it is true that this poisoned letter pen sent to CJ Mutunga came from the Mungiki sect, what connection is there between Jubilee Alliance and the outlawed sect? If these goons can dare to threaten the CJ’s life together with his other members of the bench; who then is safe in Kenya?
As the Chief Justice was revealing a threat to his life, something else more ominous came to light. Francis Kimemia the Head of the Civil Service was alleged to have had the audacity to instruct a junior immigration official to block the Chief Justice from travelling to Tanzania for a one day meeting.
This affront to the CJ baffled many Kenyans. The audacity with which the Head o f the Civil Service chose to embarrass the CJ was mind boggling. First, the Kenyan constitution is very clear about the separation of powers among the three arms of government.
The Chief Justice heads one such arm and enjoys independence and autonomy just like the Speaker of the National Assembly. In real terms the CJ and the Speaker are at the same level as the President and therefore the Head of the Civil Service has no business running the CJ’s schedule- something that even the President cannot do. In more practical terms Francis Kimemia is the CJ’s junior twice over.
These dangerous developments may force Kenyans to revisit the recent judgment that cleared Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to run for president even though they are facing charges of crimes against humanity. Had the judges been intimidated? How come the bench that declared that the case was not in their jurisdiction and that it was only the Supreme Court that could hear the case ended up hearing it anyway, passing judgment and even awarding costs to the respondents? Are Kenyans on a wild goose chase to speculate foul play during the trial?
These dangerous developments come at a time when the CORD coalition has accused the Head of the Civil Service together with the military and NIS heads as having met recently to plan how to campaign for Jubilee Alliance. Is it possible that there are plans afoot to rig elections using civil servants to cause chaos again in Kenya?
It is a good thing that Francis Kimemia came out to clarify the issue and even sent a circular to all civil servants asking them to desist from engaging in political campaigns. However,was that circular genuine or was it a mere tactical retreat as more clandestine plans were in the offing?
Those who are planning to intimidate or kill the CJ and interfere with the elections cannot be called Kenyans or friends of Kenya. Their memories must be really short if indeed they have forgotten the mayhem of 2008 that ruined our economy and loss of property and innocent lives. It beats logic that as we prepare for the next elections since 2007 with ICC cases in the offing, someone can plan an explosive situation like eliminating the CJ and a number of his judges.
These planned criminal activities must be a test case for the New Inspector General, the Director of Investigations and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
If they don’t take decisive action, Kenyans will be forgiven for assuming that they too are part of the conspiracy.
The only way Francis Kimemia and his boys can get out of this mess is to order a thorough and conclusive investigation to bring the Mungiki commanders, their sympathizers and sponsors to take responsibility and face the law.
Like I have said elsewhere on these pages before; chaos in Kenya are a recipe for turmoil in East Africa. We cannot allow this to happen so soon after the disaster of 2008.