Writer’s Podium First Cohort
The application of rule of law in the Republic of Kenya has for a long time been perceived as a cosmetic and bureaucratic. Common citizens and genuine members of the civil society are the victims of this compromised judicial system with the latter acting as a mechanism of subjugating the spirit of constitutionalism.
While acknowledging the significant progress we’ve made as a nation since the suppressing days of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) regime, more needs to be done in regard to the constitutionalism agenda and the principle of the rule of law. We cannot escape the reality of the subjective application of the rule of law and the selective administration of justice.
Unknown to many, the justice system includes and involves the National Police Service tasked with the enforcement of law and order. Delivery of ‘justice’ in Kenya is a façade. The politically connected tend to find their way out of the justice system without being punished for breaking the law.
After the final announcement of the nullified presidential election results, a number of Kenyans lost their lives including infants and very young children. Families that lost their loved ones are painfully waiting for justice to be granted. The rogue police officers who cut short the lives of these innocent souls haven’t been prosecuted. Are they above the law? Or is it the selective nature of Kenya’s justice system?
It is this hellish attitude of being above the law that generates the reproach towards the constitutionally-crafted institutions. Members of the Judiciary have on several occasions been admonished by the leading figures of the Executive and Parliament for making sound judgments. To the political class, the judicial process must always play in their favor, a disorder which has affected majority of their supporters.
A ruling in contrary with the expectations of a given political entity forms the basis of politically immoral suspicions. Politicians and their supporters must learn to accept the verdict of the courts without throwing tantrums and issuing threats of ‘fixing’ the Judiciary. We are accustomed to judicial mediocrity and institutional conspiracy between the arms of government. The bombshell recently delivered by the Supreme Court, however, will alter the legal and judicial architecture of the country and restore hope in the process of constitutionalism.
Restoration of the spirit of constitutionalism is fundamentally important in stamping out the selective administration of justice especially for the politically, economically and socially marginalized Kenyans. In essence, the judicial process and the justice system must effectively work for the benefit of the present generation and for the nation’s posterity.