Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, photo courtesy
Retired chief justice Dr Willy Mutunga has hit out at Uhuru Jubilee regime for rampant abuse of human rights. Mutunga said this in an exclusive interview with Inuka Trust CEO John Githongo on Wednesday.
He said what is happening in Kenya is a repetition of what happened in the early 70’s during the time of the colonial judiciary.
Mutunga cited the actions of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and others under the ministry, which he noted are bad for the country.
“It is shameful. What happened to [Nasa Strategist David] Ndii, [NRMKe General and lawyer Miguna] Miguna, and the likes of [businessman Jimi] Wanjigi losing their passports, should not have happened,” he said. “These are things that happened in the 70s and that should not happen in a modern society.”
Mutunga added: “I look at Matiang’i and the way he is talking and chest-thumping and wonder who is advising him. What are the AG, Solicitor General and DPP doing because what the CS is doing is not good for the country.”
The former CJ warned that if mechanisms are not put in place to ensure laws are adhered to, the country might sink into anarchy.
Mutunga, a renown human rights activist, further said the reference to a section of judges as an evil click is a clear indication that the Executive is waging war on the Judiciary.
“These things have really traumatised me. They have reminded of the days when people would mysteriously disappear or police would come for you before your wife and children and hold you incommunicado. You would not know what would happen. This is exactly what birthed the Nyayo torture chambers.”
Mutunga said the Judiciary is at crossroads.
“The 2010 Constitution gave the Judiciary the power to implement the law. When they make decisions about Miguna, it is not that they are proving how mighty they are. That is the law.”
He noted the Judiciary should remain a temple where those seeking justice go.
“The people do not known how negatively the court convictions are going to affect the three individuals. They might think they are powerful but someone will challenge the courts [and show] they are convicts and unfit to hold public office,” he said.
“[Former] South African President Nelson Mandela fired Winnie illegally but the court declared it was wrong. Mandela later publicly apologised and accepted that the court order was right.”
The three people the ex-CJ talked about are Matiang’i, IG Joseph Boinnet and Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa, who were found in contempt of court and fined Sh200,000 each.
He chided the CS further, saying his is a face of the past that is trying to weaken the democratic space.
Mutunga also took issues with how Miguna was treated saying it was an embarrassment for the government.
“Kenyans should not have seen what happened at the JKIA. Freedom of movement is absolute and even if you take someone’s passport you need to explain why.”
Mutunga noted that no Kenyan can lose citizenship by birth and added that the Miguna ordeal was not one of legality but an intra-illit conflict based on political ideologies.
He said only Kenyans have the power to protect the Judiciary
“When courts issue orders for people like Matiang’i to appear and they fail to, let them be arrested by citizens and be arraigned in court,” he said.
Mutunga reiterated that if people are aggrieved by courts they should appeal in higher ones.