Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga is a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, perhaps even an overzealous one. When he speaks, its difficult to second guess the honourable President of the Supreme Court.
As an Adventist too, I know how much value is attached to integrity, honor, and honesty in SDA. But that is not even the point. It is clear that the Judiciary is under siege through politically instigated budget cuts, sabotage and clear undermining of the office and person of the CJ.
The CJ may lack proper communication skills to express his frustrations, but the message is home. I have seen some people allege that the CJ is whining over status – about being accorded an S500 Mercedes-Benz car as Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate, access to VIP lounge at JKIA and protocol at state functions, bla bla.
There is a deeper more nefarious scheme against the CJ and the Judiciary in general. Contrary to many a view that the onslaught on the Judiciary is the actualisation of the so-called 2017 “We shall revisit” threat, I submit this is some script in the grand scheme of succession politics.
Consider this. Chief Justice David Maraga is 68 years old. He is due to retire on 21st January 2021. That is slightly over a year away. Why would anyone want to force out the CJ in 2019? Why not wait out the year for the natural order of things?
Just recently, there was an attempt to impeach another senior, respected and thoroughly independent Judge of the Supreme Court, Jackton Boma Ojwang. He was however cleared by the Tribunal set up to investigate him.
We need to examine very closely the whole bench of the Supreme Court of Kenya. In the public eye, the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, unlike Maraga, is a scoundrel. She can’t hold a candle to integrity. What of the others?
The enduring question though: Is the political establishment, the so-called system intent on controlling the bench at the Supreme Court? Do they want to purge it of independent, unmanipulable and incorruptible minds for some political expediency in the near future? What could be the urgency to try and force out Maraga in 2019?
It must be remembered that the Supreme Court, apart from ensuring that all laws adhere to the constitution and that no person is denied justice under the law, has original jurisdiction on matters presidential election.
2022 and Kenyatta succession is around the corner. Why not have a bench that can help knock out some formidable candidate on some technicality? Think of a scoundrel bench that rules thus: “though there is no evidence that the defendant is corrupt or has stolen, his wealth betrays him. He looks like he can steal and therefore not eligible to stand for President.”
Remember the case of the governor who has no college degree as required by law but the court ruled that he behaves like he has one and dismissed the petition against his election? We have precedence.
In view of BBI (which release date keeps shifting like a mirage) and the envisaged changes to the constitution, what are the political games behind the scenes? Does the system want a bench that can help advance its political agenda?
Remember too that the onus of swearing in the President is constitutionally vested on the CJ or in his absence the DCJ. If, God forbid, Muigai does not rise up this morning, or is incapacitated or resigns as President, the CJ must swear the Deputy President to complete the residue term.
Well, the spirit of the 1976 Change the Constitution is reincarnated in BBI. Its only barrier is the Judiciary.