Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has disclosed that Supreme Court judges received threats after they invalidated President Kenyatta’s August 8th, 2017 victory.
Speaking to members of the National Assembly during a post-election seminar in Mombasa, Mwilu, however, stated that she was personally not cowered by the threats.
“We were threatened, that is for sure. I must confess because I don’t know how to clothe a lie,” she said.
Mwilu was forced to respond to the question after she was cornered by Kapenguria MP Samuel Muoroto who wanted to know whether the threats affected other judges in subsequent rulings.
“You did well to nullify the presidential election,” Muoroto stated, to an uproarious applause from Nasa MPs.
“You were threatened and now all the gains the Judiciary made are being taken away. The new Constitution gave you lots of powers and the Judiciary has been done a good job. But the attacks by the politicians seem to have shaken you. Can you be frank and tell us the truth?” Moroto asked.
The DCJ responded: “I am not sure whether the threats cowed the judges as to affect our subsequent decisions. But the threats never entered my soul and I thank God it never did.”
The morality of some judges and their researchers was questioned by Belgut MP Nelson Koech who noted that some of the decisions in the petitions were known long before they were delivered.
“Who does research for the judges. This must be reviewed because such researchers are giving the judiciary a bad name,” he said.
Mwilu said the judiciary is as independent as it can ever be but refused to be drawn into discussions over the judgment on election petitions saying her opinion could jeopardise the cases as some of them have been appealed.
She told the lawmakers that as the elected representatives, they ought to represent the will of the people.
“No institution ought to have more respect and solemn consideration for the all aspects of the sovereignty of the people of Kenya than Parliament. When the Sovereignty of the people is challenged through disregard for orders and decisions of the court, no institution ought to be more enraged than the institution that most directly represents the exercise of such sovereignty,” she said.
She added: “As the Legislature. You are the people, and you must act with steadfast commitment and single-mindedness to protect the public interest. You must, where legally enabled, summon, criticise, investigate, and censure all those who purport to impair and diminish the rule of law.”