Kenya: Raila Odinga Says CJ Koome’s State House Meeting With President Ruto Irresponsible

Nairobi — Opposition leader Raila Odinga has described the move by Chief Justice Martha Koome to meet with President William Ruto at State House over corruption in the judiciary as irresponsible.

Speaking during the commissioning of the Maweni Water Project to Manda Primary school in Lamu, Odinga stated that this would compromise the judiciary.

He indicated that the talks should have been held instead in a neutral location.

“The Chief Justice has gone for a meeting with the President at State House. This in our view is an irresponsible move. If there is supposed to be a dialogue, it should be held in a neutral place,” he stated.

He pointed out that this further showed that “the judiciary has been held hostage by the executive,” and termed it as “an unfortunate development.”

Koome held a meeting with President Ruto at State House Monday morning to address a stand-off arising from corruption claims on judges.

The claims were made by President Ruto who accused unnamed judges of working with cartels to frustrate the government agenda following injunctions on his legacy projects of health and housing.

Following the claims, the Chief Justice proposed a meeting, saying she was willing to listen to the president so as to find a lasting solution in what was widely opposed by the legal experts led by the Law Society of Kenya.

The Opposition led by Odinga too opposed the meeting saying it compromises judicial independence.

Last week, the president announced that he was ready and willing to meet the Chief Justice.

“I am going to lead from the front in the conversation between the executive and the judiciary so that we can deal with the monster that is destroying our country and the corrupt who go to court,” he said.

President Ruto has lately maintained a sustained attack on the judiciary saying the government will deal firmly with corrupt judges and judicial officers who he claims have been bribed to issue orders to frustrate his development agenda.

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