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Impeaching President Uhuru will not be a walk in the park

Following various court rulings declaring decisions made by the Executive unconstitutional and illegal, there have been clamour to impeach President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta from activists, civil society organizations, lawyers and politicians. 

President Kenyatta greets Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka during National Prayer Breakfast at National Assembly. Looking on is Chief Justice Martha Koome and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. The Executive has violated a number of court rulings. Photo/COURTESY

Some of the State House decisions declared by High Court unconstitutional include establishment of Nairobi Metropolitan Services, establishment of the office of Chief Administrative Secretary, appointment of some state officers and transfer of Kenya Meat Commission to the Ministry Of Defence (under Kenya Defence Forces).

The recent frosty relationship between Executive and Judiciary is the High Court ruling declaring Building Bridges Unconstitutional and President's refusal to appoint six judges recommended by Judicial Service Commission.

The government has been disobeying court orders. Last year, the then Chief Justice David Maraga advised President to dissolve parliament for not enacting two thirds gender rule. Legal scholars have argued that President deserves to be impeached for disregarding the constitution he swore to defend, protect and uphold. Courts have declared almost every recent executive decision unconstitutional and illegal.

The procedure and process of impeaching President is stipulated under article 145 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. It states a Member of Parliament supported by at least a third of members may move a motion for impeachment of president on grounds of gross violation of constitution, where there are serious reasons believing that President has committed a crime under national or international law.

Fair trial

The supreme law grants every accused person a right to fair trial. In this scenario, President would have a right to appear and be represented before the special committee during investigations. If two thirds of Members of Parliament vote to uphold impeachment charges, the President shall cease to hold office.

Two thirds translate to 233 members of Parliament and 30 Senators. The President enjoying support of opposition legislators and Jubilee Kieleweke MPs and Senators.

Kenyans can use other avenues like article one which states that sovereign power belongs to the people. This power may be exercised directly or through democratically elected representatives. This can be done through civil disobedience, boycott and demonstrations to force president out of office.

President Kenyatta has 14 months to leave office. Next year August Kenya will conduct a general election where electorates will have an opportunity to choose their fifth President. We hope next President will have respect for the rule of law, uphold constitution and ensure doctrine of separation of powers exists among the three arms of government. Asked how he will remember President Kenyatta on KTN News, former Chief Justice David Maraga said he will remember him as the President who had no respect in constitution and rule of law.


Kitonga Musyoka writes on Legal and Political topics


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