CJ Mutunga defends his meeting with Moi
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has defended his recent meeting with former president Moi.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said that his office derived authority from the people of Kenya and he was free to engage every citizen.
“I think when we say that Judicial authority is derived from the people of Kenya – that’s Article 159 (of the Constitution) – it’s true, and I think Kenyans should stop telling me whom to see.”
“If they read that Article properly, it doesn’t say that I can’t derive any advice from President Moi, or when he invites me to go to him for tea and goat meat I should seek permission from Kenyans,” he said.
Dr Mutunga has been meeting with former and current high-ranked government officials, including Mr Moi and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Many human rights abuses, including torture, detentions without trial and assassinations occurred during Mr Moi’s rule. Both Mr Odinga and Dr Mutunga were victims of the detentions.
Last week, Otieno Mak’onyango, who was detained after the 1982 attempted coup de’ tat, complained to a Nairobi court that Dr Mutunga had visited the former president. (Read: Ex-MP faults Mutunga and Moi meeting)
Testifying in a suit he filed against Mr Moi for illegal detention, he said that it was wrong for the CJ to meet with Mr Moi when the case was ongoing.
"I’m in court because of the detention instigated by the second defendant (Moi). I feel that this amounts to contempt of court, ” he had told Justice Kalpana Rawal.
But Dr Mutunga, who spoke at an evening event to launch a report on the justice sector and the rule of law, said that he is a Chief Justice for all Kenyans.
On the Moi meeting, he added: “I found that meeting actually very interesting. We talked about Judicial reforms, security and reflections on his rule.
“So I’ve got to listen to everybody, I get invited by everybody in this country. My outreach will not be limited and I will listen to everybody.”
Due to that outreach, the Judiciary had received a lot of suggestions from different people, which will be used to implement reforms in the justice system, according to the CJ. He added that there was political will to enable the reforms take place.