It is public knowledge that the relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice David Maraga had a rocky past few years.
Over many times, Chief Justice David Maraga has accused the executive of interfering with the Judiciary’s activities without respecting its independence.
The two have fought on many fronts: from a presidential election petition at the Supreme Court which prompted the declaration by Uhuru that he will “revisit” the Judiciary, severe budget cuts, and counter-accusations over the disobedience of court orders.
Last year, Maraga threatened to boycott presidential functions because he felt Uhuru and his administration did not respect his office.
All analysts who have attempted to dissect this mega beef between the President and his Chief Justice seem to narrow it down to one thing: the historic decision by the Supreme Court to nullify the 2017 presidential election, citing irregularities in the process.
The Maraga-led bench declared Uhuru’s election null and void, triggering a furious warning from the President.
“We don’t fear you,” an angry Uhuru told Maraga.
There was a brief cessation of hostilities between Uhuru and Maraga after the Supreme Court upheld the repeat election only for another conflict to emerge following a decision in February by the National Treasury to effect cuts on the Judiciary budget.
Maraga accused Uhuru’s executive of a plot to undermine the administration of justice by denying the Judiciary crucial funds needed for operation.
But in response, the President asked Maraga to “think out of the box” on the use of resources.
There was the impression of a truce between the two arms of government, but hell broke loose last week when the President signed an Executive Order, sparking protests from Maraga.
The CJ was miffed by what he said was an attempt by the Executive to assign duties to the Judiciary.
In a protest statement, the CJ declared that the Judiciary was neither a ministry nor a government department to be subjected to an Executive Order.
Speaking on Monday at the Supreme Court, Maraga said it is no longer tenable for the President to continue refusing to obey two court orders compelling him to appoint the judges to their respective positions.
“You know I have respect for you as our President, you also know that I have unsuccessfully sought an appointment with you to sort out these issues but it has been futile leaving me with no option but to make this public,” Maraga said.
The CJ also asked the President to direct the Attorney General to begin the process of satisfying the decrees issued by the courts.
Maraga’s statement comes in the backdrop of threats by the Law Society of Kenya to take legal action against the President and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki for not swearing in the 41 judges