Uhuru to meet Speakers and CJ over court rulings

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Uhuru to meet Speakers and CJ Strained relations between the Judiciary and the Executive will be the main agenda when President Uhuru Kenyatta meets Speakers of both Houses and the Chief Justice.

The meeting will dwell on court rulings said to have undermined Parliament and the Executive.

The President made the commitment in response to concerns by MPs that the relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary is being strained by decisions judges have been making.

The MPs are unhappy with several rulings including the one that has thrown the laptop project into disarray as well as the Court of Appeal’s decline to lift suspension of parts of the new security laws in the ongoing case.

The lawmakers expressed the concerns on Friday, just a day before the President attended a Jubilee retreat in Naivasha. It was on the same day a three-judge bench declined to reinstate the eight suspended clauses of the controversial law the National Assembly passed last December.

President Kenyatta did not, however, state when the meeting would be held.

MUTURI NOT AWARE

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said: “I am not aware but should the meeting be called, I will be readily available.”

This is not the first time the Executive and Parliament are raising concerns about the Judiciary. At the official opening of the East African Magistrates and Judges Annual Conference in Nairobi last October, President Kenyatta asked the Judiciary to review some court orders he said had made it hard for other arms of government to work.

“A common concern across East Africa is that at times, the Judiciary acts in a manner that throws roadblocks in way of the proper execution of lawful executive and legislative authority. In particular, the issuance of injunctive interim orders, especially ex parte, has undermined goodwill and harmony between the three arms of government in each nation,” said President Kenyatta.

MPs at the Naivasha meeting are said to have been concerned that injunctions issued against the government don’t have time limits and matters often drag for a long time at the expense of fulfilling the aims of the Executive.

AT LOGGERHEADS

The National Assembly has been at loggerheads with the Judiciary after its bid to have six members of the Judicial Service Commission investigated by a tribunal was quashed immediately President Kenyatta had set it up.

The tribunal was blocked from working because the National Assembly had initially defied a court injunction to act on the petition submitted to it.
Documents from the meeting show the task to tell the President about the issue was given to Pokot South MP David Pkosing.

Kiharu MP Irungu Kang’ata said the best way to deal with perennial disputes between the Executive and Judiciary is to have a provision in law.

Mr Kang’ata, who is a member of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, said he would sponsor a Bill to amend the Government Proceedings Act to provide for timelines within which government matters should be heard and determined.

-nation.co.ke

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