November 22nd 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Did Uhuru reward Kisii community with CJ's appointment?

Many political pundits wondered how appointment of the Chief Justice could be used in a campaign platform while it’s a constitutional office and the holder is by merit and not politically inclined to any political divide.

By Liza Makenalmakena@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 23 Mar 2017 20:14 EAT

President Kenyatta congratulates Chief Justice David Maraga at State House following the CJ's appointment.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's two-day tour of the Kisii region has provoked national discussions about the limits and misuse of the president's powers ahead of the elections. What brought jitters in his address is when the president denied claims that the Jubilee government had marginalised the Kisii community, citing the appointment of Chief Justice David Maraga as among top professionals from the area who have benefitted from his generosity to the Omugusii.

“We have not neglected you. We have given you a cabinet minister (Fred Matiangi’) and the chief justice,” he said. Jubilee strategists have identified Gusii, Coast and Western as among Opposition strongholds which could be persuaded to vote for the governing Jubilee coalition in the next elections.

Many political pundits wondered how appointment of the Chief Justice could be used in a campaign platform while it’s a constitutional office and the holder is by merit and not politically inclined to any political divide. "The president goes to Kisii and says that he has given the Abagusii the CJ's big job and they should in return give him the real job of Head of State.

"It's the institutions that are failing Kenya, Ombudsman for example has gone missing on this. The JSC should by now have issued a strong statement advising the President to respect institutions," said civil society activist Cyprian Nyamwamu.

President Kenyatta accompanied by Deputy William Ruto also accused the opposition leaders of dividing the country along tribal lines. “Our biggest challenge is the politics of tribalism and hatred,” he told a crowd at Magwagwa market in Nyamira county where he commissioned the construction of the Chepilat-Ikonge-Chabera road.

The president challenged NASA leaders to demonstrate their development records for the past few years. "The NASA people should not come here and deceive you. Ask them what they did when they were in government,” he said.

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