Uhuru-with-Maraga
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Chief Justice David Maraga
when he visited his office at the Supreme Court Building.
Also in the photo are National Assembly Speaker Justin
Muturi, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Deputy Chief Justice
Philemona Mwilu and Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne
Amadi.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the judiciary to be
mindful of the effects of its actions on the other arms of
government and how it will affect the lives of ordinary
Kenyans while exercising its mandate.
The President said any decision that negatively affects the
desire of a better, prosperous life of the average Kenyan or
their safety and well-being should be carefully interrogated
before being undertaken .
President Kenyatta pointed out that the administration of
justice should not be shrouded in intrigues that only the elite
may understand, saying the citizenry as a whole should be
fully engaged in it since judicial authority is sovereign power
of the people delegated to the courts through the
Constitution .
“On this next matter, I speak from my experience as a
politician. You ought to accept that criticism comes with
the office. Whether in media, in the journals, in the public
baraza – and these days, social media –Kenyans will have
their say, and little enough of it will be flattering, or even
sensible,” the President said.
“That’s democracy; and I have learned that one does two
things in response: first, simply grow a thick skin; second,
consult,” he said in apparent reference to the criticism the
Supreme Court Judges received when they annuled his win
in the August 8 election.
At the time, the President hit out at the judges, terming
them wakora (crooks) and owed to teach them a lesson.
The apex court was on the receiving end again – this time
from the Opposition NASA – after it dismissed petitions
challenging his victory in the October 26 fresh election which
was boycotted by his main rival, Raila Odinga.
President Kenyatta was speaking Friday at the Supreme
Court in Nairobi where he witnessed the official release of
the report on the state of judiciary and administration of
justice by Chief Justice David Maraga.
The President said all three arms of government have been
given mandate to serve Kenyans and thus need to work
together to fulfil that mandate.
“We are all one
government, serving one
people and the national
interests. We are
independent but
interdependent,” said
the President.
The President further said he would work with Parliament to
allocate additional funds to enable the judiciary relocate
Court of Appeal to another place so as to create conducive
environment for judicial officers to work effectively.
While encouraging the judiciary to guard its independence
jealously, the Head of State urged it to talk to people within
the law to hear their viewpoint also.
He cited the example of Parliament, which has mechanisms
of consultation both with other branches of government and
with the people.
“Follow suit. Kenyans are reasonable; what they want is to
be heard,” President Kenyatta said.
For instance, the President said, the business community –
in its desire to invest resources that will eventually grow the
economy – looks forward to fair and timely decisions from
the courts on the matters that may need judicial intervention.
“For example, there is still a long delay in resolution of
commercial cases. It still takes an average of 459 days to
resolve one case according to World Bank data. We have to
find a way to reduce this sharply. It hurts business,” he said.
In the same spirit of inclusiveness, the President said all
parts of government should work in concert towards
realisation of justice within the community.
He observed that the administration of justice is attained
when the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary work together
and not just when the Judiciary acts isolation.
“The Executive should offer the relevant backing for
implementation of judicial decisions and Parliament should
not only pass relevant legislation but also avail sufficient
resources to the Judiciary. This is the spirit of
constitutionalism that is called for in Article 249 of our
Constitution,” the President said.
In the same vein, President Kenyatta said the horizontal
mechanisms of cooperation and consultation across
government should be duly exercised, saying it is a
constitutional principle that should not be misunderstood to
allow interference with the independent mandates of the
organs of government.
“The administration of justice is a national responsibility for
all organs of Government and all citizens of Kenya. It thus
has to be pursued and promoted jointly, across government
and at all levels, as a public good,” President Kenyatta said.
The President emphasised that justice is an important pillar
of the people’s life and its promotion is an obligation on all
arms of Government.
He congratulated the judiciary for the tremendous progress
on its reforms, imploring to continue on the same path so
that so that justice becomes the true shield and defender of every Kenyan.
Maraga assured the President that the Judiciary is committed to working with other arms of Government
and independent commissions to tackle the daunting challenges that confront the country, top among them being corruption.
“We in the judiciary have our own challenges with
corruption, which we continue to address within our human
resource function as well as through the Judicial Service
Commission,” said the Chief Justice.
Others who addressed the forum included Speakers of
National Assembly and the Senate Justin Muturi and
Kenneth Lusaka respectively, Deputy Chief Justice
Philomena Mwilu and Judiciary Chief Registrar Anne Amadi.