By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami
Kenya's Chief Justice on Wednesday called on the government to respect the rule of law and uphold the constitution after it recently flouted a series of court orders.
The warning from David Maraga came after a local court ruled earlier in the day that Kenya’s inspector general of police and the director of criminal investigations had disobeyed court orders which Maraga said “threatened the rule of law”.
They refused orders to release opposition supporter and lawyer Miguna Miguna on bail and present him before a judge.
Miguna is the self-proclaimed general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which was formed by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga from his National Super Alliance (NASA) political movement.
Despite three court orders calling on the state to free Miguna, the government proceeded to deport him to Canada, where he also holds citizenship.
"Compliance with court orders is not an option for any individual or institution. Neither is it a favor to be doled out to the Judiciary. Rather, it is a crucial matter of constitutional and civic obligation," said Maraga.
“The recent disregard of court orders is an act that is not only inimical to the rule of law but also completely at odds with Kenyans’ constitutional rights.”
He warned all government officers that there will be consequences for flouting the law.
Kenya's Interior Minister, Fred Matiangi, told reporters Wednesday that the government deported Miguna because he had denounced his Kenyan citizenship, an allegation Miguna vehemently denied while speaking to the media in Amsterdam.
At least 14 other opposition politicians in Kenya have had their passports suspended illegally according to Kenyan courts.
Odinga rejected Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last October’s elections and has vowed to pressure Kenyatta’s government until he steps aside, clearing the way for what he calls “free, fair and credible elections.”