Chief Justice David Maraga’s Thursday move to throw another tantrum over government budget cuts to the Judiciary, in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta, left him with an egg on the face, as the head of state countered his rant with hard-hitting facts on how the judiciary had failed the country, and itself.
Maraga, during the unveiling of the State of Judiciary Report, implored Uhuru to direct government offices such as the Treasury to cease implementing budget cuts on his arm of government, and instead, allocate more resources for the rehabilitation of courts, and the hiring of more court officers, to enhance justice delivery.
But Uhuru was quick to note that the austerity measures applied on the Judiciary in 2019 were no excuse for the Maraga-led branch of government to slack on its responsibility.
Citing the tough economic times that the country is currently experiencing, Uhuru told judicial officers to compromise on the luxuries they had previously been enjoying, such as first-class plane seats, posh hotels, and trips for unnecessarily large legal delegations.
”Pesa haimei kwa miti (money does not grow on trees),” the irritated president told Maraga during the televised event.
The Jubilee Party leader further told the Judiciary that it was responsible for its own woes since courts had in the past shot down government proposals to administer more taxes to increase revenue that would, in the long run, benefit the legal system.
Uhuru noted that almost all cases, filed by activists against government revenue collection policies, were upheld by judges and magistrates.
For this reason, Uhuru read hypocrisy in Maraga’s constant public outcries over withheld and withdrawn funds, indicating that no reprieve was in sight for the law-enforcing government branch.