PRESS STATEMENT BY H.E RAILA ODINGA:
APRIL 4, 2018
WORRYING CONDUCT OF INTERIOR CABINET SECRETARY BEFORE PARLIAMENT:
Four weeks ago, on the 9th of March 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta and I came together and agreed that we would change the direction of our country. We promised Kenyans that we will use our social and political platforms to foster reconciliation and unity among Kenyans.
We also promised to explore the ways in which we can get to the root of some of our deepest problems that seem to defy all forms of statutory and institutional reforms. This is a commitment we hold very strongly and dearly.
I was therefore very distraught to see our Cabinet Secretary of Interior Dr. Fred Matiangi, live on national television making virulent attacks on the Judiciary and on specific members of the bench. Using language that should not be on the lips of a State officer, Dr. Matiang’i attacked what he perceived to be his enemies including his predecessors who are unfortunately long dead.
As a Cabinet Secretary of this Republic, this outburst by Dr. Matiang’i was highly irresponsible and reckless. In our Statement to the Nation, President Kenyatta and I urged every leader and every Kenyan to embrace the responsibilities they know to be theirs and help the nation reconcile and make progress. Dr. Matiang’i failed terribly in this yesterday.
It is unethical and irresponsible for a Cabinet Secretary to publicly denigrate another arm of government and to refer to judges as “evil.” It is irresponsible to castigate one’s predecessors in office particularly when they are dead and not there to defend themselves.
In any case, the CS appeared before Parliament to answer questions pertaining to abuse of rights of citizens and undermining the rule of law. Instead, he came out as the personification of impunity. Parliament should not allow itself to be a platform for State officers to make attacks on other arms of government.
If Dr. Matiang’i has evidence against the judges he is attacking, the responsible thing to do is to register his complaint and present his evidence to the Judicial Service Commission. The JSC has the constitutional mandate to pursue issues of unethical behavior of judges.
Dr. Matiangi equally has room to challenge the decisions of any court in a superior court through established channels of appeal.
If the CS feels that his predecessors in office did not carry out their work in a way that is satisfactory, he is the Cabinet Secretary now. He should correct what he believes is a mistake and change the processes of the Ministry so that those mistakes do not compromise the State. But he should not treat Kenyans to the drama that he played out yesterday before members of the National Assembly.
We have just come from the longest, most dramatic political period in Kenya’s history. Every leader should know that and should behave and talk in ways that will help Kenyans re-focus on the problems we have in a sober and rational manner rather than worsen them. The politics and leadership of chest-thumping, fear mongering, hate and division must end in Kenya.
H.E. RAILA ODINGA
APRIL 4, 2018.