Members of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in Siaya trooped out in large numbers on Friday to participate in a peaceful protest President William Ruto’s recent public outbursts about the country’s Judiciary.
The association of lawyers yesterday, confirmed that members would be taking to the streets of the country’s capital Nairobi to express their displeasure over the President’s disregard for the rule of law.
The lawyers carried placards with different wordings to express their mission. Some of them included: “Protect Judicial Independence”, “Stand for Justice”, “The March for Justice: #NobodyIsAboveTheLaw”.
Speaking at the protest ground, LSK President Eric Theuri said the association was solidly backing the Judiciary. He urged the third arm of government to be steadfast and not yield to any form of bullying or harassment.
“We want to urge the Judiciary to note that the LSK stands with them. They should not feel bullied or harassed…”
“We ask them to make decisions only on the basis of the law and Constitution. As long as they are accountable in terms of how they exercise Judicial authority, we shall support them.
“We took an oath to defend the constitution, independence of the Judiciary and the administration of justice. And we are going to retake those oaths in public so that we can send an equivocal message to the Executive and those in the Executive who are harbouring false hopes that LSK will cow or be intimidated in the defense of the rule of law,” Theuri said.
The procession moved through the streets within the Nairobi CBD, led by security officers. The protest which started from the premises of the Supreme Court, will end at the Office of the President.
Also present at the outing was former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, former minister Eugene Wamalwa, Kivutha Kibwana, and other high-profile lawyers.
“This cannot be just accepted. So Chief Justice Martha Koome and your team, as LSK, we stand in solidarity. We are not here to ask you to issue any favourable orders but do the right thing under the law… If this country is not under the rule of law it can only mean we are under the jungle law,” Musyoka said.
Theuri while speaking to the press on Thursday about the protest, insisted that the President must respect the law and follow due process, or the association will initiate impeachment action against him for “violation of the constitution” if he “continues with his attacks against the judiciary.”
“The president of this country is not above the law. Therefore, we do not expect him to speak as if obeying of court orders is a favour that he is doing to the country. It is a constitutional requirement,” he added.
President Ruto’s verbal attacks on the third arm of government has attracted widespread criticism within Kenya and beyond. Despite warnings to retract his words to avoid anarchy in the country, Ruto has been adamant about doing the bidding of the Judiciary which he termed as “corrupt”.