CJ Mutunga to deliver parting address in Senate on Tuesday


Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is expected to deliver a farewell address to senators Tuesday afternoon.

Mutunga, who leaves office on Thursday, becomes the first Chief Justice in Kenya’s history to address a House of Parliament.

He is expected to address the endless supremacy battles that have characterised interactions between the Senate and the judiciary.

This has constrained relations between the two entities over the past three years.

In 2014, Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro led more than 20 senators to a meeting attended by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. The meeting was convened to find a solution to the deadlock between the two arms of government.

On Thursday last week, Senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki told senators that just like the presidential State of the Nation address in Parliament, Mutunga will be heard in silence. He said there will be no questions or comments.

Since 2013, there has been a push and shove between the Judiciary and the senate over impeachment of governors.

In 2014, senators lashed out at the judiciary over what they termed as numerous injunctions to bar the House from discharging its constitutional mandate.

Makueni county assembly had passed a motion to impeach governor Kivutha Kibwana but High Court barred the Senate from receiving the ouster request.

Another matter that has caused friction between senate and the judiciary is the unresolved impeachment of Embu governor Martin Wambora.

Even as he exits the scene, the CJ has been candid about the oblique future of the country in the wake of failure to deal with corruption, greed and interests that supersede the States’ values.

In January, Mutunga said Kenya is run by mafia-style cartels of political chiefs and corrupt business people.

He said eighty per cent of political leaders are not fit to hold office and corruption has never been worse in the “bandit economy”.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, Mutunga said Kenya harbours mafia-style criminals like Al Capone’s mob in 1920s America.

They “collect millions every day,” he said. “The influence of the cartels is overwhelming. They do illegal business with politicians,”.

“If we do not fight the cartels, we become their slaves. But leaders who do take on the cartels must be prepared to be killed or exiled,” Mutunga said.

He added: “If our constitution and clause Chapter 6 about corruption were implemented, I am sure 80 per cent [of politicians] would not be suitable for political leadership,”

Mutunga said a bribe collected by a policeman from a motorist is shared all the way up to police headquarters.

“Larger cartels make money through trafficking illegal migrants, counterfeit money, weapons, drugs and consumer goods,” he said.