- Contradictory rulings made this week have left Kenyans perplexed and seeking explanations
- Harsh punishment of a bhang trafficker has entrenched the notion that laws in Kenya are only for the poor
- Timely anticipatory bail for Governor Waititu has raised both integrity and legal questions
- Maraga has already acknowledged the existence of corrupt judicial officers and the issuance of absurd rulings in courts
Chief Justice David Maraga is once again a man under siege following an underwhelming week in which members of the public have been treated to barrage of negative vibes from the corridors of justice.
Judges and magistrates have all week long been called out either for apparent bias in handling cases or for baffling orders and rulings that have left many neutral observers nodding their heads in disagreements.
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The highlight of the judicial puzzles came on Thursday May 23, when three separate rulings appeared to escalate highly contradictory court decisions that Kenyans have been questioning in recent months.
In the most controversial of rulings, a Nyeri court sentenced a woman to 30 years in prison without the option of a fine for trafficking bhang worth KSh 2,820.
The magistrate said the prosecution had proved the case against Rose Wanjiru beyond reasonable doubt.
Cripplingly, the punishment was harsher than that handed to a pastor who was on the same day found guilty of defiling, impregnating and later killing a secondary school student in 2011.
Justice Hillary Chemitei of the Kitale High Court sentenced Pastor Charles Nyachwara to 25 years imprisonment after it was proven that he killed Scolastica Mmbihi to save his image.
On the same day, Governor Ferdinand Waititu, who had been arrested by anti-graft detectives on Thursday, May, was later set free after he was granted an anticipatory bail of KSh 500,000 by Magistrate Bryan Khaemba at the Kiambu Magistrate's Court.
The grant of bail came despite Judiciary regulations requiring that this is done by the High Court.
The governor had been arrested over the irregular award of tenders valued at KSh 588 million to companies associated with him and his immediate family, and possible money laundering.
The rulings only served to entrench the notion that justice is for the highest bidder, with poor Kenyans being heavily penalized while the wealthy and influential escape with slaps on the wrist for crimes against humanity.
Earlier in the week, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji cast deep aspersions on one magistrate, openly complaining that she had been compromised to influence the outcome of a case in which city lawyer Assa Nyakundi is charged with killing his son.
Assistant DPP Catherine Mwaniki made an application asking to have Kiambu Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena to withdraw from the case, revealing that there was information indicating that contact had been made with the court with a view to defeating justice.
She noted Nyangenas conduct including refusal to record the prosecution's submissions, showed open bias.
DCI boss George Kinoti had already revealed that a bungled investigation had seen Nyakundi charged with manslaughter instead of murder for shooting his son to death. Two detectives involved in the cover-up were interdicted.
Maraga recently acknowledged the existence of corrupt judicial officers and the issuance of absurd rulings in courts. But Kenyans are keenly waiting to see how he handles the mess in his house. @tukoNews
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