DP Ruto and allies shook over CJ Koome’s role in 2022 polls

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Allies of Deputy President William Ruto have opened a new war front, this time targetting Chief Justice Matha Koome over her appointment as chairperson of the National Multi-Agency Consultative Forum on Election Preparedness, which brings together Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) involved in preparedness for the August 2022 polls.

In the fresh wave of attacks on members of the multi-agency team, UDA’s top guns are blaming the Chief Justice for involvement in 2022 election affairs instead of sticking to her constitutional mandate as head of the Judiciary.

“Madam Chief Justice and the President of the Supreme Court, you cannot wear two hats that you are preparing elections. You sit in the preparation of elections and when the elections are over you want to wear another hat as an independent Judicial Officer in the determination of the presidential elections,” Garissa MP Aden Duale said in Nandi on Wednesday, insisting that UDA will independently file a petition seeking Koome’s ouster if she fails to get her priorities right while also calling for her resignation.

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“She must follow what the constitution says and we are going to make a formal complaint as UDA in the next two days but she is out of order. So you better resign as the Chief Justice and be part of our competitors.  We have no problem with that,” Duale said.

“You can give them legal advice but you cannot seat in the most coveted seat as the President of the Supreme Court who is going to lead the other six judges in the determination of the Presidential election dispute and now you are sitting to help us prepare free, fair and credible elections.”

The former Majority Leader in the National Assembly’s remarks were supported by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa who accused the CJ of presiding over illegal outfits intent on tampering with next year’s presidential elections.

”We know there are those presiding over those illegal outfits who have ill and evil intents and that is why we want to caution our chief justice, respectfully, to ensure that the Judiciary and herself are not recruited into these illegal and unconstitutional outfits,” Kimani Ichungwa.

The legislators spoke when they accompanied the DP in Nandi. Other leaders who accompanied Ruto were Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret).

In a letter dated November 24th, UDA complained of CJ Koome’s continuous involvement in the working of the Technical Working Committee which is tasked and mandated with 2022 election preparedness.

“It is our submission that your continued involvement in the Technical Working Committee is likely to interfere with and shall threaten free and fair elections come 2022 general elections.”

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Copied to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, chairperson of the African Union Commission and US embassy, the letter by UDA told Koome to ‘henceforth stop, abandon, desist, refrain and cease participating in the activities of the committee.”

The committee draws its membership from various government agencies and it is indeed a multi-sectoral forum. We opine that your involvement in the consultative meetings is a clear violation of the Constitution, the Judicial Service Act, 2011, the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012, the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003, the Bangalore Principles and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers,” the letter reads in part.

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