EDITORIAL: Stop these threats against Judiciary


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Politicians are used to having their way. But increasingly, they are finding it difficult to bulldoze things.

This explains the apparent angst against the Judiciary, which has become more assertive and liberal in the interpretation of the law.

In recent times, some politicians have resorted to issuing threats to the Judiciary as an institution and to individual members of the bench deemed to be too radical in their rulings.

Now, some of those politicians have warned that they will change the law to clip the powers of the Judiciary should they win the August elections.

Unfortunately, leading the campaign is Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, who constitutionally, is not allowed to dabble in politics because his is a technocratic job.

In itself, this shows how despite constitutional changes, the mindsets have not changed.

The centre-piece of the 2010 Constitution was the dispersal of power and enhancement of checks and balances.

Power has been dispersed vertically and horizontally.

However, the focus seems to be on devolution that distributes power between the central and county governments.

Yet, the power is equally shared among the various arms of government and in that architecture, the Executive has been confined to a particular path — which is what appalls Mr Kiunjuri and his ilk.

We have come from far and cannot afford to go back to those dark days of single-party rule, when judges had to look over their shoulders before pronouncing any ruling.

The Judiciary and the Legislature and other organised lobbies kowtowed to and were rendered subservient to the Executive.

Survival in the current system requires fidelity to the law.

Each arm of the government must do its bit and stick to its lane.

When need be, issues can be negotiated. But there is no room for executive orders.

The incessant threats against the Judiciary are troubling and irritating.

The hard fact is that times have changed. We made a covenant with ourselves to do things differently and we have to live by that.

Those imagining they can change laws to suit themselves are mistaken.

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