, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Judiciary to guard against exploitation by persons he says have undeclared interests in key outcomes of court processes.
Kenyatta who spoke on Thursday during the launch of the 2017/18 State of Judiciary and Administration of Justice (SOJAR) report said a section of judicial officers and lawyers had mastered the art of obtaining injunctions to obstruct justice.
“Corruption is continuing its vicious attack on our people and our nation and the judiciary is not immune to its illicit lures and intimidation. There’re known culprits who exploit the court process and its judgment to escape from the consequences of their economic crimes,” he said.
According to the Head of State the tendency to manipulate court outcomes through “gate keeping and brokering of justice” had continued to wrench havoc on the livelihoods of Kenyans.
He particularly raised concern over injunctions he said have resulted into the stalling of key projects tied to his four-point development agenda of food security, manufacturing, universal healthcare, and affordable housing.
“Projects worth colossal amounts of money have stalled either because courts have put injunctions or stopped processes altogether,” the President lamented.
He noted that the injunctions have been issued undeterred in total disregard of accruing interest due to delays in the execution of projects as per contractual obligations.
The taxpayer, he said, continued to pay interests in accordance to contractual obligations despite the commencement and completion of the projects in question.
“The taxpayer has to honour penalty payments on loans on some of these stalled projects. It is unfortunate that there’s a thread of individuals who’ve continued to pursue this matter with undeclared interests,” he noted.
Kenyatta warned that should the Judiciary fail to redeem itself and fight the public perception that some judicial officers and practicing lawyers are above the law.
He said the apparent capture of courts by a section of individuals with vested interest was damaging Kenya’s constitutional dispensation.
“If allowed to continue, this practice could cast us into judicial tyranny. The Judiciary cannot apply one standard for others and one for itself. If anything the Judiciary should hold itself to a much higher standard,” President Kenyatta implored.