Sunday, 20 August 2017

Nasa lawyers tell of rough time in compiling petition

By PETER LEFTIE
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Nasa leaders Raila Odinga (right) and Kalonzo Musyoka submit petitionNasa leaders Raila Odinga (right) and Kalonzo Musyoka submit petition documents to the Supreme Court's registry on August 19, 2017. The Nasa principals will meet to discuss the list of lawyers who will prosecute their petition. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Summary

  • The team had just under 48 hours to put together a water-tight case for the nullification of the presidential results.
  • The team of lawyers included MPs-elect Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Opondo Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare) and Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka).
Lawyers compiling the National Super Alliance (Nasa) petition challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election victory were forced to seek refuge at Raila Odinga’s Nairobi residence to evade a crackdown from suspected agents of the State.
Members of the legal team who spoke to the Sunday Nation on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the State said they were forced to shift base three times between Wednesday and Friday to evade raids from suspected police and intelligence officers.
INFILTRATION
The team, which was coordinated by Mr Odinga’s legal adviser Paul Mwangi, also had to contend with infiltration from suspected intelligence officers as well as defections that saw three key lawyers “disappear” on Friday and fail to append their signatures to the final document, forcing the opposition coalition to look for replacements to sign the document barely four hours to the Friday midnight deadline.
“Three very critical experts, when it came to signing the papers at the very tail end of the exercise, switched off their phones and disappeared.
"Luckily, they were not working alone so we got other lawyers to take over, given the strict timelines we were operating under,” our source said.
PETITION
According to the lawyers who spoke to the Sunday Nation, the team had just under 48 hours to put together a water-tight case for the nullification of the presidential results following Mr Odinga’s declaration on Wednesday that he would, after all, challenge the outcome that saw President Kenyatta declared the winner.
“He gave us 48 hours to put together a solid case. We had to identify a team of about 30 lawyers, many of them volunteers, to undertake the task.
"We had drafters of the petition itself and those handling the affidavits; we had another team dealing with research on law and others analysing the evidence available; it was a big team working round the clock to beat the Friday midnight deadline,” the source said.
RAIDS
The lawyers said they were raided by persons they believe to have been undercover police officers thrice between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, forcing them to shift base every time they were raided.
“Following the third raid on our secret operational base, it was decided that we shift base to Raila’s home in Karen.
"That was the only safe location we could operate from. We were being hunted down like rabbits,” he said.
SPIES
Also working with the team of lawyers who included MPs-elect Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Opondo Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare) and Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka) was an “army” of clerks numbering about 100, the sources revealed.
“Of course we had to vet the volunteer lawyers and the clerks to ensure our team was not infiltrated by the other side.
"We turned away quite a number because we did not trust their intentions. The lawyers we settled on had to be agreeable to our core team of lawyers,” the source added.
DEADLINE
The team kept its distance from the five Nasa principals during the hectic 48 hours, with Mr Orengo acting as the link between the two groups.
“They (principals) gave us a free hand to work, they did not interfere at all.
"If we wanted any direction or clarification, we got in touch through Orengo or Mwangi (Paul),” one of the lawyers said.
The lawyers revealed the anxiety that gripped them as the Friday midnight deadline fast approached yet heavy work still remained.
“The disappearance of the three experts jolted us a bit.
"Coming barely four hours to the deadline, we had to move fast to secure fresh signatures before we took the entire document to the principals for their affidavits.
"We ended up taking the documents to Raila and Kalonzo to append their signatures on the affidavits at 10pm, just two hours to the deadline,” one of the lawyers said. 
PROSECUTORS
It was not until 10.34pm that the Nasa team of lawyers led by Mr Amollo and Mr Oluoch delivered the first batch of documents at the Supreme Court.
Alongside lawyer Jackson Awele, whose law firm Murumba & Awele Advocates played a key role in the petition, the Nasa team of lawyers is said to have left the Supreme Court in the early hours of Saturday after spending the better part of the night arranging the documents for easy reference by the various parties to the case.
The Sunday Nation learnt that the Nasa principals will Sunday meet with the legal team led by Mr Orengo and Mr Mwangi to discuss the list of lawyers who will prosecute their petition.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Robert Alai Arrested; 19.08.17


By NATION REPORTER
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Blogger Robert Alai who has been arrested andBlogger Robert Alai who has been arrested and is being held at Kamukunji Police Station in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
Controversial blogger Robert Alai is being held at Kamukunji Police Station in Nairobi.
He told the Nation that he was arrested Friday on Mombasa Road.
According to him, police cars fitted with ordinary number plates blocked his vehicle, before the officers jumped out with guns.
“They have not told me why I am under arrest. I do not know why I am here. They roughed me up. My shirt is torn,” said Mr Alai.
He added that the police had four cars when they arrested him.
Alai is active on social media, where he posts information on politics and social issues.
Recently, he posted photographs of the first family that were supposedly taken in a city hospital.
The caption suggested that a member of the first family had passed on.

All eyes on CJ David Maraga as Raila Odinga files petition; 18.08.17

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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By PATRICK LANG'AT
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Justice David Maraga, the chairman of the tribunal investigating Judge Joseph Mbalu Mutava, speaks during a press briefing at KICC in Nairobi on September 21, 2016.Chief Justice David Maraga. He is set to handle a presidential election petition for the first time. FILE PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP. 

Summary

  • While the Supreme Court decision, which must be delivered on September 1, will be determined by seven judges of the court, all eyes will be on Justice Maraga.
  • This is because of his role as president of the court and presiding judge, and the fact that it is his biggest case yet.
  • Also, Judge Maraga will be the tie breaker should the other six judges tie in their votes.
Two weeks after he was sworn in in October last year, Chief Justice David Maraga met opposition chief Raila Odinga at the Supreme Court for a one-and-a-half-hour meeting.
It was a way of the new president of the Supreme Court reaching out to all political actors, the Mr Odinga meeting coming just a few days after he met President Uhuru Kenyatta.
READY
Accompanied by his co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula, Mr Odinga reportedly poured his heart out to Mr Justice Maraga about his misgivings of the court, and why he stood the biggest chance to restore that confidence.
And at the heart of that test, CJ Maraga later said, was a potential presidential elections petition, on which the Supreme Court has the exclusive jurisdiction and whose decision is final.
“I want to assure the country that the Judiciary is prepared to handle any election petitions that may arise next year,” Mr Justice Maraga told Mr Odinga and his colleagues at the steps of the iconic building that houses Kenya’s highest court.
Judge Maraga would continually repeat his assertion that the court was ready to handle such a petition since then, and as late as a week to the high-stakes August 8 elections, whose results Mr Odinga has disputed and is expected to lodge a case today.
7 JUDGES
While the Supreme Court decision, which must be delivered on September 1, will be determined by seven judges of the court, all eyes will be on Justice Maraga.
This is because of his role as president of the court and presiding judge, and the fact that it is his biggest case yet.
Also, Judge Maraga will be the tie breaker should the other six judges tie in their votes.
And since the court was formed primarily for such a petition, it will be baptism by fire for the 66-year-old former Kisumu Court of Appeal presiding judge.
The court will, however, have the benefit of judges Mohamed Ibrahim, Prof Jackton Ojwang’, Dr Smokin Wanjala and Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u who arbitrated a similar petition in 2013.
CHURCH
Those who took the oath of office with the CJ are his deputy Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu, and Justice Isaac Lenaola.
A furiously independent-minded judge, Justice Maraga is a staunch Seventh Day Adventist church elder who has in the recent months stamped the authority of the Judiciary against attacks by politicians.
So strong is his faith that during the interviews for the job in which he beat 14 other contestants, Justice Maraga said he could not compromise his going to church on Saturday for work.
“It would be very difficult for me to sit on a Saturday to hear a case,” he told the Judicial Service Commission.
THE PAST
“I would rather talk with my colleagues in the court to accommodate me and exempt me from sitting if the hearing extends to a Saturday.”
Given the 14-day window to hear and determine a presidential petition includes the weekends, it remains to be seen how the soft-spoken judge will navigate the waters in the high-stakes case.
The father of three also served as a judge of the High Court in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Nairobi.
Before joining the bench, Mr Maraga practised as an advocate in Nakuru.
As the presiding judge in Nakuru, Maraga handled the murder trial of a former Eldoret traffic policeman- Andrew Moache, who had been charged with double murder of Ainamoi MP David Kimutai Too and his companion Eunice Chepkwony.
ELECTIONS
Judge Maraga found the officer guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, sparking protests.
The two were shot dead at West Indies Estate in Eldoret on January 31, 2008.
He is also chaired the judiciary's committee on election preparedness.
The committee was tasked with finding pitfalls from previous election petition hearings and it made wide recommendations on how to hear the petitions efficiently.

Friday, 18 August 2017

NYAYO HOUSE: Unravelling the Architecture and Aesthetics of Torture; 17.08.17

“I’m conflicted. Sometimes I want them to just tear it down. But it’s also part of our history. If we don’t deal with the legacy of that past then we are likely to repeat the same mistakes”.
Wachira Waheire spends several of the first minutes of our interview sizing me up. As he shares this observation with me, he is guarded and measured, uncertain that he will collaborate with me until he establishes who I am and why I need to speak to him. It is Saturday morning in the Kenyan capital Nairobi and the museum coffee shop where we are meeting is buzzing. Only when I show him samples of my previous writing on my phone does he begin to relax and speak a little more freely. “You know this story is very traumatising,” he tells me. “Every time a journalist asks me to talk about it, I give a piece of myself away. I relive the experience again. It’s very hard.”
Waheire was bundled back into the vehicle and driven around for hours before he was dropped off in the bowels of a building he didn’t recognise. “I was promised a short questioning – I ended up in prison for four years. But had I not been so young and healthy I’m not sure I would even be here today,” he says, laughing mirthlessly.
This story is the 17 days Waheire spent in the tower looming over us during our interview, days in which he was beaten, tortured and interrogated before he was finally transferred to a maximum security prison, where he was held in solitary confinement for four years. In 1986, Waheire was 25 and two years out from university when Kenyan Special Branch officers showed up at his office and asked him to follow them. The officers calmly escorted him to the back of a four-wheel-drive vehicle and took him to his home. There, they found a political poster featuring an ear of corn and an AK-47 that stated that food insecurity was the root of revolution. The officers argued that that was enough to charge him with sedition. Suddenly the mood shifted.
Waheire was bundled back into the vehicle and driven around for hours before he was dropped off in the bowels of a building he didn’t recognise. “I was promised a short questioning – I ended up in prison for four years. But had I not been so young and healthy I’m not sure I would even be here today,” he says, laughing mirthlessly.
The building where Waheire was held is Nyayo House, once the Nairobi provincial headquarters and administrative heart of the city. Commissioned in 1973 by the Ministry of Works, it was initially planned as the 14-storey “Nairobi House”. In 1979, a year after he assumed office following the death of his predecessor Jomo Kenyatta, President Daniel arap Moi, also known by the sobriquet Nyayo, renamed the project Nyayo House. In a 2003 interview, the then chief government architect, the late A. A. Ngotho, said that by the time they broke ground, the decision to use the building for Special Branch offices as well as other government ministries had been taken.
Nyayo House is loaded with symbols of the relationship between the two presidents. It was for several years the second tallest building after the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, a nod to the way Moi, who served as vice president under Kenyatta, always positioned himself as secondary to his predecessor. Indeed, the word “Nyayo” is Kiswahili for footsteps – a nickname that Moi gave himself and his political philosophy to indicate that he would follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. Thus the building initially conceived as Nairobi House became Nyayo House on completion, and for almost 22 years, Nairobi’s big men symbolically presided over the capital city until Times Tower was completed in 1995.
Both Nyayo House and Nyati House were at the heart of the Moi regime’s torture network, and Kenyans who remember the 1986 to 1992 period still associate the two buildings with arbitrary arrests, detentions and disappearances. Growing up in Nairobi, we avoided walking past Nyati House, especially because of rumours that you could be arrested and held incommunicado for simply looking at the building in the wrong way.
The Moi regime was on shaky grounds from the beginning, but its most severe challenge was an attempted coup by the air force in 1982 that triggered a wave of punitive repression that arguably didn’t end until the Moi regime itself ended and reached its apogee in sites like Nyayo House. Between 1982 and 1985, after the building had been finished, the government architects who oversaw the project were asked by the Special Branch to make several alterations to the original planning that would turn an office block in the heart of a major city into one of the most secretive and notorious prisons in the country. Twelve strong rooms in the basement were turned into pitch black holding cells and concrete slabs blocked elevator access to all but five floors. Access to the top three floors was blocked almost entirely, except through a single door.
In a 2003 interview with a local paper, the then police commissioner Bernard Njiinu argued that even he didn’t have a sense of the full scope of what was happening in the building. “I knew what I read in the newspapers like anybody elsewhere,” he told journalists, even though he was building a picture of his own from titbits of information he gathered independently.
Waheire gives credence to this argument. “It used to be a very busy government office,” he recalls, “but we were always brought in at night, and they made it so that the office workers never knew what was happening in the basement.” Thus, while by day bureaucrats pushed paper and traded water cooler banter, by night hundreds of political prisoners were held incommunicado in the basement, shuffled to the rooftop for painful beating and interrogation sessions, and then shuffled back downstairs for more torture in the form of sensory deprivation and environmental manipulation. Those in the offices may not have known the particulars, but certainly most of Nairobi suspected that all was not well within the building. There were too many “suicides” off the top floor. There were too many armed police officers milling about in the corridors and at the entrances, shouting at civilians to stay away from the staircases.
The scale of the operation was eventually so large that it couldn’t be contained completely and locals would swear that even the air around the building was sodden with the stench of death. The fear and paranoia it triggered is still reflected in the way Nairobians who remember that time navigate the city, leaving a wide berth around Nyayo House even if it is the shortest route to their destination. It is seared in the collective memory of the city.
Do buildings have memory? The phrase “institutional memory” generally refers to the way ideas get preserved and transmitted across a network over time. But there isn’t really a word to describe the ways in which negative energies become indelibly associated with buildings or constructed artefacts that have been used to violent ends. Yet violence like torture marks buildings not least with the physical debris of damaged human bodies: blood stains the walls and floors and soaks into the concrete; human waste in substantial quantities festers in poorly ventilated spaces.
Walking through such spaces, especially when these spaces have been built or altered to accommodate such uses, one often gets a sense of claustrophobia. Spiritualists may argue that this is the weight of tormented spirits that succumbed to unnatural deaths in these spaces, but non-spiritualists would probably observe that our perception of physical spaces is altered by the uses we associate with them.
Moreover, there’s the more ethereal sense of oppression that lingers even after the torture. Walking through such spaces, especially when these spaces have been built or altered to accommodate such uses, one often gets a sense of claustrophobia. Spiritualists may argue that this is the weight of tormented spirits that succumbed to unnatural deaths in these spaces, but non-spiritualists would probably observe that our perception of physical spaces is altered by the uses we associate with them. The philosopher Saul Fisher argues in the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy that beyond aesthetics or beauty, our experience of the built environment contributes to our state of mind – “the ways we experience architectural objects may contribute to how we comprehend, and interact with, those objects.” So an ugly building used as a space to save lives will evoke an entirely different emotion from a beautiful building used for torture.

Kenya to adopt E-Passports in September— Gordon Kihalangwa

By FRED MUKINDA
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Kenyan passport. This current generation willKenyan passport. This current generation will be used till 2019. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Summary

  • A Series, B series, C series and diplomatic passports will cost Sh4,550, Sh6,050, Sh7,550 and Sh7,550, respectively.
  • The government has been gradually switching to e-systems to improve efficiency and reduce security loopholes.
Kenyan passport holders will from September be required to replace them as the government begins rolling out electronic ones.
The current passports will however remain in use for two years, after which they will be rendered obsolete.
SECURITY
Those applying for passports from next month will be issued with the new-generation e-passports, which feature a microchip containing data about the holder that also matches the information in the booklet.
“The e-passport allows information stored on the chip to be verified with the information visually displayed on the passport,” the Department of Immigration said Thursday.
“The e-passport is highly secure; hence avoids reproduction and tampering. The e-passport enhances imposter detection.”
COST
Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa took curious Kenyans through the process of acquiring the new passport.
Using his interactive Twitter account, he said the passports would be issued at the same cost as the old ones.
“Applicants will be required to appear in person at our offices for photograph capture and finger prints,” Maj-Gen (Rtd) Kihalangwa said.
“There will be no more printing of application forms or invoices.”
VISAS
He added that the A Series, B series, C series and diplomatic passports will cost Sh4,550, Sh6,050, Sh7,550 and Sh7,550, respectively.
Payment can be made via mobile phone or credit cards, he added.
“It facilitates faster clearance of travellers at immigration checks. It will allow the government to offer world-class consular services to Kenyans,” the department said, adding that the current ordinary East African passport will also be phased out.
After replacement, passports with visas will remain valid.
TECHNOLOGY
The government has been gradually switching to e-systems to improve efficiency and reduce security loopholes.
Since 2015, foreigners visiting Kenya have been required to apply for visas online — unlike in the past, when only manual applications were applicable.
The online system, known as e-visa, is expected to significantly streamline the processing and issuing of visas to foreigners visiting the country.
E-CITIZEN
Earlier, the government rolled out e-citizen, a one-stop portal for information and services to help Kenyans complete transactions conveniently.
The government has also introduced a new computer system — Integrated Population Registration System — to link government agencies that hold personal information of individuals, in a bid to enhance efficiency and security.

Lupita Nyong’o’s Emotional Letter to Rt Hon Raila Odinga, The World May Mock You BUT Majority Poor Are With You

LUPITA NYONG’O’S SENSATIONAL MESSAGE TO RAILA AHEAD OF THE SUPREME COURT BATTLE.
Dear Baba,
Baba Amosi?
I’m writing to you this letter at a time when you seem to be profoundly aggrieved by the manner in which the 2017 electoral process was conducted.
Myself and of course others that constitute the diaspora constituency, were meticulously following the events as they were unfolding-we were following! Our hopes were so inclined.
We knew so well that for the first time since independence, the 2017-2022 government was going to be a government of the people and for the people. A government of the many downtrodden at the expense of the few rich.
Our unwavering hopes were reinvigorated by the technological advancements at the electoral body, which appealed to the whole world that Kenya was flying at a lightning speed to the horizons of democracy.
Unfortunately, before this was actualised, some demonic individuals brutally murdered Chris Msando-a man whose celebrated brainchild, could have set a resounding precedence for the rest of other sprouting democracies.
The outcome of all these mischief is that the IEBC did not pronounce you as the winner. In lieu, they did so to your main political foe. The international observers were swift to inform their governments that elections were free and fair. In turn, such governments, especially from the Western World appended their congratulatory messages for the perceived president elect. They told you to accept and move on or follow the due process if you feel dissatisfied and not to incite your supporters to go to the streets.
I feel that you’re left alone in this battle. But I want to tell you this; at some positions in life, the whole world may dessert you. The whole world may mock you for your stand, for your ,conviction for your cause. Those whom you considered as your greatest allies,those who regarded you in high esteem may turn against you and brand you all sorts of disparaging names.
However,if you’re standing on the ground of solitude, knowing too well that you are right ,that your conscience is clear,behold,remain unmoved,remain unbowed,remain unperturbed in that solitary position even for a century if need be.
I wish you well in your endeavors.
Lupita Nyong’o
@OwitiOwayo.

Why Raila changed tack and opted for Supreme Court; 18.08.2017


Police officers and the public engage in running battle at Kondele in Kisumu after the youth barricaded Kisumu-Kibos road on August 11. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard) 

A State clampdown on two civil society groups, divisions over mass protests, and pressure from the international community reportedly prompted the Opposition to opt for the Supreme Court. While the Opposition leaders had consistently vowed they would not petition the court over the disputed presidential election, it has emerged that various competing interests were at play, leading to Wednesday's decision by NASA leader Raila Odinga to go to court. ALSO READ: Not yet Uhuru as NASA heads to court The Standard has established that some hardliners were pushing for mass action, citing the frustrations the Opposition had encountered, including the refusal of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to allow them access to its servers to verify results. However, a moderate group in NASA cautioned about the risk of the peaceful demonstrations escalating into violent protests and the State blaming them for the subsequent loss of lives. This group reportedly cited the death toll from the pockets of protests following the declaration of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the presidential vote, arguing that if the brutal crackdown by security forces was anything to go by, widespread protests would be bloodier. Apart from the mounting pressure from the international community, another development that buttressed the case for those pushing for court action reportedly was the State crackdown on two human rights groups. Raila's presidential campaign team had hoped that either the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) or the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) would independently petition the results so that they would ride on their case. But Monday's threat to deregister the two, followed by a police raid at AfriCOG offices, left NASA with no option but to seek the legal way. "We always knew that even though we would not go to court, some serious group or individual would petition the results, but Jubilee was taking steps to frustrate these groups, leaving us with no option," Raila's adviser, Salim Lone, said. Last Friday, shorty before IEBC made its declaration, NASA walked out of the Bomas of Kenya national tallying centre and announced that it would not sign the result declaration form. The leaders also vowed that they would not go to court. ALSO READ: Not yet Uhuru as NASA heads to court On Saturday, NASA held a press conference, insisting that the court process was not on the cards. Senator James Orengo then declared they would resort to other means including 'extra-parliamentary' options to reject the results. The press conference was preceded by a meeting chaired by Raila and attended by Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang'ula, and Isaac Ruto at the Okoa Kenya offices. On Sunday, Raila made a first public appearance in Kibera and Mathare, where he asked his supporters to boycott work on Monday and wait for his announcement on Tuesday. The 'big' announcement was then pushed to the following day. But on Wednesday, a near five-hour meeting held at a private residence in Riverside and attended by Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi, and their strategists resolved to use the legal way to avert more deaths, given that already about 24 had been reported dead in skirmishes. Insiders said that some members of the coalition were right from the beginning opposed to mass action as a means to solve the dispute. "We didn't want violence from the beginning since we know the Government has monopoly of tools of violence. We didn't want more casualties," Lone added. He noted that after some NASA supporters went on the streets to protest against IEBC's announcement of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of last week's election, the coalition ruled out mass action. ALSO READ: Duale: It's time for Raila to exit the stage quietly "You can see many of our people were recklessly killed for protesting. We were aware that Jubilee was eagerly waiting to kill more after we announced that we would go to the streets. We didn't want our people to die," another source said. Another source said NASA was prepared to peacefully settle the dispute were it not for the IEBC's chairman's refusal to acknowledge their request. "We wrote a letter to Wafula Chebukati requesting him to allow us access to the commission's servers. He refused to allow us, yet what we wanted was just to reconcile the figures. If this was done and we were satisfied then we couldn't be where we are now," he said. He added that the death of IEBC IT manager Chris Msando signalled that the ICT systems had been interfered with. "We are now going to court to demand access to IEBC server information so that we can reconcile forms 34A and 34B. We will then reconcile the figures with those from our agents," the source said. An insider said NASA had a change of heart because of pressure from the international community. The source said they had received information that Jubilee had deployed hundreds of security officers in areas perceived to be opposition strongholds and that peaceful protests would have turned chaotic. "We had already received information that the police were under instructions to kill anybody protesting. The blame would have been put on Raila. We had to change our mind and seek legal redress first." The source said NASA had received oral and written submissions on how the results were allegedly doctored in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta. ALSO READ: Duale: It's time for Raila to exit the stage quietly "By yesterday, we had received overwhelming evidence to show the world and the country how the election results were doctored for the presidency and some gubernatorial candidates. If the Supreme Court turns a blind eye to the evidence, we shall have other options," the insider added. He went on: "Just as Jubilee has indicated that it was the worst thing for NASA to move to court as it will legitimise Uhuru's win, they should be cognisant of the fact that all these issues have been deliberated upon and we are prepared for them. -Report by Geoffrey Mosoku, Moses Njagi, Roselyne Obala, Rawlings Otieno, and Protus Onyango newsdesk@standardmedia.co.ke 
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Tuju Request to CJ rejected

Uhuru Letter to CJ Maraga Dismissed in Substance and Procedure by Top Lawyers

Hon. Mr. Justice David Maraga,

Chief Justice and President

of the Supreme Court,

Supreme Court Building

Nairobi
Your Lordship,
Hon. Mr. Justice George Odunga
I am addressing your Lordship as Chair of the Committee on Senior Counsel.
My attention has been drawn to a letter dated 1st August, 2017 apparently addressed to your Lordship by Mr. Raphael Tuju, Secretary General, Jubilee Party, regarding the above named judicial officer. The request in the letter is that your Lordship should remove Hon. Mr. Justice Odunga from the cause list as Duty Judge in the period beginning 31st July, 2017 to 11th August, 2017. The reasons for the request seem to be Mr. Tuju’s perception of his Lordship’s partiality in previous matters in which his Lordship has delivered judgements and/or rulings which are seen as having been skewed due to his alleged relationships with counsel who has or have appeared in those matters and other familial ties.
It was open for any party to the proceedings, or indeed Mr. Tuju, to make a formal application before the judge for recusal, and to appeal against an order declining the prayer. The requisite supporting affidavit evidence for such application would rule out speculative suspicions as grounds for alleged malfeasance. It would also be a public, transparent and fair manner by which to question any perceived partiality of a judicial officer. Regrettably, this has not been done in this case.
Article 160(1) of the Constitution is explicit that, in the exercise of judicial authority, the judiciary shall be subject only to the constitution and the law and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority. And, pursuant to Article 161(2)(a)the Chief Justice shall be the Head of the Judiciary.
Mr. Tuju’s letter sails perilously close to being a control of or direction to the Chief Justice on the manner in which the Judiciary should be administered. More fundamentally, it constitutes the undermining of the Judiciary by impugning one judicial officer on the ground of his ethnicity and apparent familial relationships, and not on the basis of the reasons advanced in his decisions for the conclusions reached. In this respect, the Committee on Senior Counsel made a statement on or about 13th July, 2017, a copy of which is annexed hereto, for your Lordship’s ease of reference.
The Senior Bar expresses in the strongest terms possible, its dismay and alarm at Mr. Tuju’s attempts at interference with the independence of the Judiciary. It amounts to a subversion of the constitution and the rule of law. We are also concerned that these kinds of attacks against a specific judicial officer could well expose the judicial officer to personal jeopardy, and undermine his security. Ultimately, it is contemptuous of the Judiciary as by law established and seeks to inaugurate a paradigm which brings the institution to public opprobrium. This is just a step away from anarchy.
I am aware that the greatest injustice often begins with an apparent justified exception to an established rule or standard. I also recall the powerful counsel from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr who stated that there comes a time when silence is betrayal, and that the constitution must be defended by us before it is too weak to defend us. Those words still ring true today.
It is for the foregoing reasons that the Senior Counsel strongly oppose the request made in Mr. Tuju’s letter, both in substance and procedure.
Yours faithfully
Fred N. Ojiambo, MBS, SC

Chairman

Committee on Senior Bar
Cc: ​President,

Law Society of Kenya

Nairobi

Killer cop turned lawyer: I wish I could turn back time

By MAGGIE NJUKI
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Munene hit the headlines in 2011 after he wasMunene hit the headlines in 2011 after he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to the gallows by Justice Mohamed Warsame. PHOTO| MAGGIE NJUKI 

Summary

  • “If I could do things differently, I would. But I can’t take back time.”
  • Munene has a degree in economics from the University of Nairobi and another in law that he earned online from the University of London while still incarcerated.
  • He takes pride in his publications, which he wrote behind bars and that are now used in tertiary institutions as teaching guides.
  • His research was based on prison enterprises that he was able to operate while in prison.
  • Though his appeal was rejected in 2012, Munene hopes the Supreme Court will be his big break.
Dickson Munene sits unperturbed among other graduands during the 42nd graduation ceremony at Kenyatta University. Beneath his flowing gowns are a striped shirt and trouser that easily give him away.
Two hawk-eyed warders sit a few metres away from him.
The death-row inmate and former inspector of police is today graduating with an MBA in entrepreneurship.
His story is not about to fade beyond the horizons of the walls of the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. Fueled by heavy media frenzy about his case, the killer cop is not ready to go down quietly without a fight.
“Prison is about monotony, it is routine. Things are the same. Staying sane therefore remains a challenge,” Munene says to explain what prompted him to advance his studies.
Munene hit the headlines in 2011 after he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to the gallows by Justice Mohamed Warsame.
President Kenyatta, however, commuted the death sentence to life in prison in 2016.
His case drew the attention of the media due to the players involved.
DEATH IN A FEW MINUTES
Munene, an inspector of police then at the Capitol Hill police post in Kilimani, Nairobi, was involved in an altercation with a reveler that ended in the latter’s death within minutes.
The deceased, Dr James Ng’ang’a Muiruri, then 30, was the son of former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri.
“If I could do things differently, I would. But I can’t take back time.”
Munene has a degree in economics from the University of Nairobi and another in law that he earned online from the University of London while still incarcerated.
He takes pride in his publications, which he wrote behind bars and that are now used in tertiary institutions as teaching guides.
His research was based on prison enterprises that he was able to operate while in prison.
Though his appeal was rejected in 2012, Munene hopes the Supreme Court will be his big break.
“I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I’m a lot wiser now. I’m more passionate about issues of justice now,” he says, full of hope.
“Prisoners survive by hope.”
Studying is not the only thing that has been keeping him busy. He spends his free time mentoring young men not to fall back into crime once they are released from prison.
“We are all in a prison of our own kind. No matter the situation, time offers all of us a chance to do something positive. And that’s what I’m trying to do with my life.”
The going might be tough behind prison walls, but Munene is not about to be bound by them. Even as he prepares to go to the Supreme Court to lodge his appeal, he is also hoping for a presidential pardon this year.
He hopes to pursue a PhD soon and has already made an application for the same.
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