By Gabriel Oguda via Facebook
Tomorrow, Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga will present, to the Judicial Service Commission, a report on the infamous $2M bribe by Nairobi Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero, to Supreme Court judge, Justice Philip Tonui.
This is the biggest news this week, this side of the Sahara. Already the reputation, if ever there was any, of the Supreme Court of Kenya has been burned down to the ground. Kenyans, in the court of public opinion expect that all the 7 Supreme Court judges resign and the Judiciary reconstituted afresh.
And I will tell you why.
The Supreme Court, in any country in the world, is the highest court in the land. It’s reputation ought to, indeed should, be beyond reproach. Anybody who takes their case to the Supreme Court does so with the full knowledge that whatever outcome they are handed with shall be final, and decisive.
All over the world, the Supreme Court building is revered and hallowed. I am told the US Supreme Court Building is engraved with the immortal words ‘Equal Justice Under The Law’. The most recognised legal symbol visible, therein, is the female statue of a woman, in a free-flowing robe, planting a sword onto the ground with her left hand, and hoisting a balanced scale, at breast-level, with her right hand. You will not miss the fact that she is, also, blindfolded. When you take your case to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, you are guaranteed finality (the dagger drilling the ground), fairness (the balanced scale), and impartiality (the blindfold). Whoever you are, whether you are the son of a pot-bellied Wall Street aristocrat, or the granddaughter of a struggling Latino immigrant, when you step into the doors of the US Supreme Court, you will, all, be granted ‘Equal Justice Under The Law’.
I also saw a replica of that statue at the Zambia High Court, in the mining district of Kabwe, when I visited in 2014. The only variation, from the US one, is that instead of the woman daggering the ground, the Zambia sword is hoisted – still by the right hand – up above the air. The blindfold remains, same to the balanced scale, even though the Zambia statue has this impression that the woman is inviting you to come and access justice. It is Zambia’s way of encouraging the aggrieved not to fear coming forward to claim what is rightfully theirs.
The Kenyan statue at the Supreme Court building, in contrast, is a peculiar one.
If you go to the Supreme Court of Kenya building, today, the image welcoming you to the highest court in the land is that of a naked, middle-aged man, holding a water-logged fish with the right foot forward. It gives one the impression that the Supreme Court of Kenya exists to award you some loot (the fish) so heavy that you shall only carry it by your shoulders as you hurriedly walk away (before the judge change their minds). There is no impression that you shall be guaranteed equality (under the law), neither does the Kenyan statue inspire your confidence that you shall be treated with impartiality, or with finality. When it comes to accessing justice in Kenya, the statue, of that middle-aged man, with his penile organ protruding, prepares you for ‘any eventuality’. You will have your best foot forward if you carried some big fish (some loot) to share with those dispensing justice behind closed doors. A little while back, a male lobby group invaded the Court precincts and demanded that the statue be pulled down citing abuse of male reproductive organs and what not. I have no idea what became of the necessary noise.
It is being alleged that Dr. Evans Kidero, the Nairobi Governor, greased the thumb of Justice Phillip Tunoi with $2M to preserve his high-voltage, heavily-rewarding seat at the helm of Kenya’s capital.
200 MILLION Kenya Shillings is a crazy sum. To put it into perspective, consider that in the 2015/2016 financial year, the Nairobi County Government allocated 144 Million shillings towards the payment of salaries and expenses of the Information, Communications, Technology, E-Government, and Public Communications Sector. Imagine that. 200 Million is enough to pay all the members of staff working in the ICT department of Nairobi County for 12 months and you still got 56 Million pocket change to throw to the birds. And that money, the 200 Million, went into the bottomless belly of one person at the Judiciary.
Never be under any illusion, whatsoever. This country is a stonewall Mafia State.
Anybody who compromises the highest decision-making organ of the land is a mountain of a man. Corruption, in the judiciary, has been known to occur at the lower echelon courts. That is why when you appeal your case to a higher court, you do so with the full knowledge that you are investing in a foolproof bench that is, almost, immune from undue goodies or malice aforethought. The Supreme Court of Kenya, until now, has laboured to weather the onslaught from criminals seeking to arm twist the law and walk free.
Because that is why the law exists.
The Greek Stoic, Plato, writes, in his all-time masterpiece, ‘Statesman’, that, and I quote; “the law is just an ignorant brute of a tyrant, who insists always on his commands being fulfilled under all circumstances.” The law ought to have no face (the blindfolded woman) to see through your material possessions as to award you a favourable judgment. Senator Gerald Otieno Kajwang used to say, jokingly, and with a punch, that “the law is the law.” It is what it is. And you cannot buy it with silver or gold. Justice is supposed to be blind. Judges aren’t supposed to look at our pocket when it comes to delivering justice. When one thinks of court, the first mental image that comes to us is that of fair justice.
You will all remember that famous letter written, in August 1786, by President Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe (the first American Law Professor and the chap who signed the American Declaration of Independence). President Jefferson tells Wythe, and I quote; “The judges should always be men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness and attention; their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man or body of men…”
When it comes to judges being role models in society, no one comes to mind than Justice Nancy Baraza – the former Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya fired from her job for the grave sin of pinching the nose of a night-guard manning a high-end mall. We all applauded at the great example the Judiciary set, we all rated judicial reforms as having been on the best track.
If tomorrow the Supreme Court meeting votes to launder their already tainted image by clearing Justice Tonui of any wrong-doing, it shall be the surest signal that the Judiciary have, also, decided to join in the looting and plunder, and that Kenyans should not expect any fair result going forward.
I leave you with the immortal words of my hero Mahatma Gandhi, who said, and I quote; “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.”
The conscience of the entire Supreme Court of Kenya judges, right now, is as clear as the solid waste section of the Dandora dumpsite. All Supreme Court of Kenya judges may as well put a price tag on their foreheads to save us time, and hustle, the next time Kenyans present a case there.
This country is stinking to the core.