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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mental sojourn on the nominations debacle

Sometimes, as a journalist, you get the luxury to be paranoid. And so, allow me to share my paranoia regarding the way forward in the nominations debacle.
Well, on Friday, PNU called journalists to their headquarters in some compound in Westlands! Right there, as the cameras were rolling, they revealed some cheap plan, whose legality I may not be able to contest.
But their argument is logical.
They said, that the Chief Justice Evan Gicheru will continue in office as CJ for as long as the Head of State, read President Kibaki, wants, whether we like it or not.
They argued that the CJ has the option to go to the Court of Appeal. In this plan, they said, the CJ will be the senior-most judge in the Court of Appeal and thus, with that, the President will have no option but to appoint him in acting capacity.
In their book, the CJ will continue occupying the office, whether he is vetted or not. They argue that because the court and Speaker's rulings and those oppossed the nominations are citing that clause 24(2) of the Sixth Schedule has to be read together with article 166, then clause 24(1)(b) will have to be read with 168 if the Chief Justice has to be removed from office.
Interesting? Isn’t it?
That’s the reason why I enjoy philosophy and law: Nothing is right or wrong, only thinking makes it so.
So, I looked at them and wondered, what makes the stakes this high?
When I got to the office, I wasn’t surprised that President Kibaki had called a news conference at Harambee House to tell people that he believes he is right. And that he’s going to court.
Surely, the High Court already concluded that the nomination procedure was opaque, discriminatory and on the face of it unconstitutional.
Even this CJ had already joined the Attorney General, the government’s legal adviser, in declaring the process wrong. So, I ask, who is advising the President on matters of law?
The President, perhaps, recalling the partnership he had with the Judiciary in the disputed 2007 elections, hopes that the Constitutional bench will “respect” the Executive. He had hoped the same with the Speaker and was shocked.
What will he do if the constitutional bench throws him out?
Now, mulling about why the stakes are this high—that the lords of impunity are walking all over the country crying foul just because of a decent ruling by the Speaker that was unlikely to please everyone—my mind cooked up this theory.
The nominees have links with the Ocampo Six! So, if they (Ocampo Six) want a way out of The Hague, then they will have to deploy all the State machinery –which they control—to have the International Criminal Court defer the cases.
I bounced this theory on one of my editors and he was like, yeah, that’s it!
“Don’t be surprised, if these guys force their way, set up a local tribunal and charge “themselves” just to force the ICC to postpone the cases,” he told me.
With that, I began seeing “things”! The tribal emails that were doing rounds in 2007 have began showing up again.
The suspicion between “Kyuks” and the rest of Kenya is back. The anti-Raila versus pro-Raila stuff is back. Even the neutrals, who hate politicians, all politicians are taking sides. It’s becoming annoying! And frightening!
That Mr Uhuru Kenyatta blamed (did he make an accusation?) the PM for the Speaker’s ruling made me shudder. Is this man a “god”. Why does everyone blame him for being behind everything that goes against their way in this country? Why does his name pop up everywhere there’s a controversy?
A pal, Jeff, even plagiarized Makmende’s heroism with a “find-replace” of Makmende with Raila.
If Raila is this big, then, surely he’s the enigma that green book seeks to portray.
If this continues, I will tell you one thing: The prophecy of retired South African judge, Johann Kriegler –that 2007 post-election violence would look like a Christmas party—is likely to come true.
Some people tell me to “relax”! But sometimes, my fits of paranoia, take me to uncomfortable worlds. Worlds where people don’t want to live.

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