Lawyers body cautions the state over increased contempt of court orders


Nairobi, KENYA: Kenya Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) now demands that state and public officers acting on superior orders to be held personally liable for contempt of court orders.

ICJ Kenya vows to continue to monitor these development and related human rights violation with a view to safeguarding constitutional gains and fundamental freedoms.

While addressing journalist in Nairobi on Wednesday over disregarding of court orders by public officials, ICJ vice Chair Patrick Ngunjiri cited that if the court finds them liable on violating the law, they will face the risk of even losing their own jobs as they will be announced unfit to hold any public office.

He argued that state, as well as public officers, are in a tendency of acting on oral, verbal or informal Executive orders which is against the law.

“We wish to remind all state officers and public officers that the corporate veil under which the act can be lifted with individualized consequences including declarations of unsuitability to continue holding or ever holding public positions in Kenya.” Said ICJ Chairman Kelvin Mogeni.

The lawyers now want the president of the Republic of Kenya to take his personal responsibility and refrain his agents from disobeying court orders through issuing written executive orders and further all related Judicial proceedings to proceed and be heard and determined to their logical conclusion without any interference.

“Article 135 of the constitution requires decision of the president in the performance of any function of the president under this constitution shall be in writing and shall bear the seal and signature of the president. The effect of Article 135 is that any decision of the president that is not in writing is illegal.” Mogeni said.

The lawyers now want all the court orders issued to be complied forthwith to avoid any occurrence of court contempt.

This comes after the government through its state officials disregarded court orders to turn on the transmission of the Nation TV, KTN NEWS and Citizen TV ON 30 January 2018, disregard of a series of court orders issued by Justice Kimaru in respect of Miguna Miguna on Monday 5th 2018 as well as Blatant contravention of Article 49 and 50 of the constitution of Kenya by the way of intimidating and the manner of movement of arrested persons.