CJ Martha Koome's Message to Senators After Skipping Event

  • CJ Martha Koome hearing petitions at the Supreme court on August 31, 2022
    CJ Martha Koome hearing petitions at the Supreme court on August 31, 2022
    Judiciary
  • Chief Justice Martha Koome made a solemn promise of defending devolution in her first virtual meeting with the Senators.

    Speaking virtually during the senators’ induction training in Naivasha, on Wednesday, September 21 the CJ  assured the Senators that the Judiciary will defend devolution.

    The senators are meeting for five days in Naivasha, where they are being inducted on the mandate of the Senate in advancing inter-governmental relations.

    Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale having a chat with Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja at Parliament buildings on September 7, 2022
    Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale having a chat with Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja at Parliament buildings on September 7, 2022

    The CJ assured the Senators that the Courts will step up to defend the spirit of decentralization by enabling institutions established under the devolved units of government to function.

    Koome further said that the County governments will receive funds according to the advisory of the Supreme Court on the recurrent failure between the two houses to agree on the Division of the Revenue Bill.

    “The court directed that funds equivalent to 50 per cent of the previous year’s allocation be disbursed to the counties whenever the legislative chambers have not agreed on the division of revenue between the two levels of government despite the commencement of a new financial year,” Koome Stated.

    She  further told the senators that the Judiciary has developed rich indigenous jurisprudence that has protected the spirit of devolution and also enabled institutions established under the devolved system of government to function.

    The President of the Supreme Court revealed how the apex Court in 2013 proposed an advisory opinion that the Senate has a clear role to play in the Division of Revenue Bill.

    She argued that the National Assembly and the Senate have often hit a stalemate in the Division of Revenue leading to late disbursement of County government funds. 

    Koome also rendered an advisory opinion on what will happen when the office of a deputy governor falls vacant in the absence of a legislative framework on filling the vacancy.

    “The Supreme Court adopted the approach that the ‘law is always speaking’ and advised that where a vacancy occurs in the office of the deputy county governor, the governor shall within 14 days, nominate a person to fill such vacancy,” 

    Additionally, the CJ said  the County Assembly will vote on the nomination within 60 days and if the vacancy occurs in both the offices of county governor and deputy county governor at the same time, the office of the deputy county governor shall remain vacant until the election of a new governor.

    The CJ did not show up for the Senators' event, barely days after she skipped the induction of members of the National Assembly in Nairobi.

    A section of MPs, affiliated to Azimio had warned the CJ not to grace their event, accusing them of subverting the will of the people, after Raila Odinga's presidential petition was thrown out.

    "We are dissatisfied that Parliament has invited the Chief Justice to come and make a presentation. The judgment that she rendered was full of insults and I do not think we deserved them.

    "She does not interpret the law as it ought to be. We will respectfully walk away when she shows up to make that presentation," stated Nyando MP Jared Okelo.

    Chief Justice Martha Koome reading her ruling on the BBI Appeal at the Supreme Court on March 31, 2022.
    Chief Justice Martha Koome reading her ruling on the BBI Appeal at the Supreme Court on March 31, 2022.
    File