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Kenya's ex-Chief Justice Willy Mutunga asks judges to strike over Executive defiance of orders

Thursday October 28 2021
Willy Mutunga

Kenya's former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. FILE PHOTO | NMG

By STEVE OTIENO

Kenya's former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on Thursday urged judges to down their tools to compel the Executive to obey court orders and rule of law. 

The former CJ made the remarks during an event at the United Green Movement party's headquarters in Nairobi. 

Last week, Dr Mutunga said that he would be travelling to Canada to accompany lawyer Miguna Miguna back into the country. 

Dr Miguna Miguna, a firebrand opposition lawyer, was ejected from Kenya in February 2018. He had earlier been arrested for his role in the mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the "people's president", despite the High Court's ruling that barred the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Inspector General (IG) of the police from preferring any criminal charges against him and ordered that he be set free. His subsequent attempts to return to the country from Canada, where he's also a citizen, have been futile. 

During Thursday's event, the former CJ said though they understand that bringing Mr Miguna back home will be difficult, they will still do all they can to bring him back to Kenya. 

Mr Augustine Neto, the co-party chair of the UGM, confirmed that Mr Miguna has already bought an air ticket and is scheduled to land in Kenya on November 16 early in the morning.

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Dr Mutunga, who has previously accused the government of disobeying court orders, last Wednesday said that his decision was a protest move against the government which he accused of infringing on Mr Miguna’s rights as a citizen of the country.

The retired CJ also accused the state of abducting and torturing Mr Miguna at his home in Nairobi before deportation in 2018. He added that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime had ignored several court orders to bring the lawyer back.

“I have taken this extraordinary step for two fundamental reasons. The first is because of the continued, flagrant and reprehensible defiance of the Government of Kenya, its agencies, and senior officials, against the numerous valid court orders in favour of Mr Miguna,” said Dr Mutunga in a statement released during Mashujaa Day celebrations.

 “The second reason why I have decided to undertake this journey is to support and defend the independence of our Judiciary, its authority, and the people’s confidence in it,” he added.

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