Former Prime Minister and Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, has promised to reform the Judiciary once he clinches the presidency.
Speaking during the Azimio Digital Rally on Friday, April 15, Raila revisited the case in which a youthful Kenyan was fined Ksh100,000 with an alternative one-year jail term for shoplifting, arguing that the court had its priorities wrong by focusing on cases of little magnitude while delaying matters involving high profile individuals.
In his address, Raila stated that should he be elected on August 9 as the country’s fifth President, he will ensure that cases of graft involving top-ranking government individuals will be prioritised.
Raila argued that it was very unfair for prisons and remands to be occupied by petty offenders while people involved in economic sabotage and mega corruption continue roaming freely.
He accused the court of being harsh on Alvin Linus Chivondo, a young father who was caught shoplifting foodstuffs worth Ksh3,000 from a city retail chain, stating that the jail term and the fine were not necessary for petty offenders.
“What the court did was not right. It exposes the loopholes in our judicial system and this is one of the things we want to address immediately when we get into power. I will release petty offenders from prisons to create more space for serious offenders,” stated Raila.
“We have people who have stolen billions of shillings belonging to the people of Kenya. When they are arrested and charged, they are released within a day, they have big lawyers and the courts are not tough on them.”
Raila added that he will ensure that the correction facilities will not be used as a place for petty offenders but for the corrupt people.
On the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader stated that the courts only paused it and that it would resume at a later date.
“The court only paused the BBI Reggae, it did not stop it. All the things we wanted to do to unite the country will be achieved later.”
Raila is seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta when his term comes to an end in August this year. He will face off with his once political ally turned foe, Deputy President William Ruto and Safina party’s presidential hopeful businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
The ODM leader enjoys the backing of the incumbent President and a number of political heavyweights including former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
On the other hand, Ruto enjoys the support of Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, former Kiambu governor William Kabogo and outgoing Murang’a governor, Mwangi Wa Iria.
- . . .