February 25th 2018

Opinion / Commentaries

Top-ranking security officers should just tell us they are ‘above the law’, period!

In this country, most of the cases taken to the courts of law are dismissed at the early stages on grounds that the security agencies did not gather iron-clad and tenable evidences. Or the police extract their evidences outside the legal confines. Sad and remorseful to the nth degree.

By Athanas Kipchumbaakipchumba@kenyafreepress.comSunday, 21 May 2017 15:52 EAT

When they say, ‘This is Kenya’, the cool breeze that’s hitting your face gently with some marked romance, unfortunately reeks of an impunity of sorts. In this country, what you think is obvious is not always so. Baffled, a bit? No. I would only anticipate appalling surprises to greet those who ‘descended’ on Kenya the other day from the ‘alternative world’ that’s free from the callous rapists of the law.

The unsettling and befuddling rate at which the top ranking security chiefs have gone against the grain of laws of the land sends cold chills down the spin. It perfectly creates an impression that it’s “unseemly and untoward” for the reputable courts of the country to summon top security bosses, for whatever reasons, however frivolous it might be.

According to our new constitution, it’s crystal clear that nobody, including the president and his deputy is above the law! I find it, therefore, appalling and immensely disturbing for the top law enforcement officers like Inspector General of police and Internal Security PS grabbing the national headlines for nothing short showing contempt of courts.

Yes, the excuses given for failure to execute court orders rings hollow and are utterly untenable. It just smacks of an in-built disdainful attitude that our senior security has regarding the law, and by extension courts. Which beggars the multi-million dollar question: If the security apparatus are demonstrably unable and graphically unwilling to apprehend law-breakers, who under the heavens, is supposed to execute warrants of arrests issued by our courts? Think of it, critically.

As you ponder that, we should also start asking why other potent arms of government are shockingly not casting aspersion upon these contemptuous top security chiefs. Whether they fathom a thing or two is a food for thought. But, the air smells of roguish behavior stitched with disdainful attitudes!

Well, consider this. In the wake of the gut-wrenching Mpeketoni pogrom and ruthless terrorist attacks that saw many people send to the alternative world, the security CS Hon. Joseph Nkaissery flouted the law by issuing the state of emergency in Lamu and Mandera. He simply rubbished the constitutionally prescribed legal procedures to the dismay of umpteen legal scholars, practitioners and custodians.

In this country, most of the cases taken to the courts of law are dismissed at the early stages on grounds that the security agencies did not gather iron-clad and tenable evidences. Or the police extract their evidences outside the legal confines. Sad and remorseful to the nth degree.

The former IG of police Mr. David Kimaiyo [popularly known for mispronouncing the word ‘siege’] and the current Coastal regional commissioner, Mr. Nelson Marwa  were issued with orders by Mombasa based High Court to eject ten thousand squatters who occupied illicitly Kencent Holdings Company’s land, 87 acres at Kwa Burlo in Kisauni. But the duo disobeyed the court orders [could it be as usual?]. Reasons for the court contempt? Blank answer. Or ‘endless’ pregnant shush [read silence].

Now the high court in Malindi has issued a warrant of arrest against the IG Mr. Joseph Boinet, NTSA chairman Mr. Francis Meja, Traffic Department commandant Jacinta Muthoni and Hared Adan who is an enforcement officer with NTSA, for contempt of court. The four officers are wanted for daringly going against May, 10, 2017, court order that directed them to stop meddling with the operations of Mombasa Raha buses operating under the Star Ways Express Ltd Sacco…

Fast backward, Mr. Mutea Iringo was accused of court contempt when Mr. Kimayo was the IG. A warrant of arrest was issued with the clear intention of putting him behind bars, but the police “openly” said that arresting their boss amounted to an act of ‘disrespect’ which could put the careers of the executors of the arrest warrant on line. So Mr. Iringo was simply a very hot potato! The portrait painted out there, for all to see?

Top security bosses are demonstrably “above the law.” This can’t be argued. It’s only that nobody audaciously screw up his courage to openly tell us that the top-ranking security officers are ‘above the law.’ This is Kenya, you know.

So don’t ask me why surging episodes of court contempt, particularly among the top security honchos haven’t attracted the public uproar and condemnations. In my view, our- don’t-care attitude towards some sensitive issues of national importance are squarely to blame for these ugly tendencies. There’s a cause to be worried sick, because if this propensity of disobeying court orders with swelling impunity and screaming arrogance jumbled with marked ignorance will not be passionately challenged and dismissed, anarchy ‘encroaches’ the country. The laws of the land will be despised and disrespected.

Going forward, I suggest that anybody who occupies any position of immense power that holds the country’s court orders with contempt should be skinned alive, in accordance with the law. In fact, the public should actively participate in their own lawful and conventional ways in demanding for tough legal action against the violators of our supreme laws and those who’re hell-bent on degrading and under-dignifying our reputable courts.

The political class also must be at the fore front when it comes to condemning the detestable culture that is becoming prevalent among top officials. By forging a united front in screaming our lungs out against contempt of courts, then issues revolving around disobedience to court orders will be death and buried.

There comes a time when we need to defend the dignity of our courts, or else the roving lords of Judicial-contempt will have a field day. Ahoy people! Please, wake up and smell the coffee.

And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled or skinned, do you?

Kipchumba is a staff writer/columnist at the Kenya Free Press

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