I have it from an impeccable source that several judicial colleagues of the Chief Justice have actually asked him not to attend the event but, according to my source, the CJ “has his own mind,” which basically means to me his mind is made up and he’s blowing everybody off on this and that would be very, very unfortunate, if it’s, in fact, the case.
My take on this is, let those who care about judicial reforms and establishing and maintaining high integrity as in the spirit of the new political dispensation and freedom continue to put pressure on the Chief Justice by visiting the Supreme Court website and simply sending a message the Chief Justice should not attend Miguna’s book launch as it would bring disrepute to not only the Supreme Court, but the entire judiciary.
As noted in the blog, first, let’s all remove our partisan hats and look at this as a Kenyan, not political issue.
Would you like to have someone as our Chief Justice entrusted with the critical responsibility to lead our judiciary in a new direction of reform to be embroiled in defending the appropriateness of attending some nondescript book by a friend who has clearly staked his position relative to Raila in the presidential race?
What does that say about our Chief Justice and his ability to be fair and impartial, let alone his ability to effectively lead the judiciary if he is deliberately thumbing his nose at his colleagues who are urging him not to attend the Miguna book launch for fear and rightly so that such high profile gesture would forever cast a shadow over the CJ and the entire judiciary?
Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind who critically thinks about this that people would rightly and easily start to entertain the notions that the CJ is on to the wrong track in how he is handling himself vz the demands of that office in taking the judiciary in a new, reformed direction?
When the CJ visited Moi soon after his being sworn, there was almost no reaction from anyone save for some of us due to willful suspension of disbelief because most people were simply still awash with the aura and happiness of having gotten rid of the top echelon of the judiciary and infused new blood in the system and many even simply overlooked the very bad reason given as an explanation by the CJ.
Having come from outside the judiciary to take a seat at the highest possible place in the judiciary and let alone leading it, the CJ has an extraordinary expectation and requirement that he treads rather very carefully both in how he manages the judicial affairs as well as how he relates to his colleagues throughout the judiciary such that he does not give any of them reason to thwart his efforts to reform the system, which they can.
Ignoring those from the bench who have asked him not to attend this book launch by essentially a disgruntled former employee of the PM’s office or even ignoring those who have not yet asked him not to but would if they had the opportunity to is not exactly the way to go in light of this delicate tread the CJ must carefully tread on.
I could go on but you get the drift so just log on to the Supreme Court website and let your voice be heard in opposition to this troubling decision by the Chief Justice that has nothing to do with what he should be honed in and exclusively so and that is, guiding the judiciary in these critical phase of its new life.
Again, in the larger scheme of things, the Chief Justice thumbing his nose on his colleagues and attending a nondescript event like this other than the excitement its eliciting among those who can’t stand Raila may look trivial, but the real tragedy shall be in the amount of judicial capital and goodwill the Chief Justice would have lost at the time he needs every bit of it to bring about the necessary reforms at judiciary.
That’s no small price for all of us to pay but the Chief Justice has it still within him to save himself and ultimately all of us the loss.