Ever since the Maraga-led Supreme Court’s 2017 historic nullification of the presidential election, former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga has always openly expressed his admiration for what he has termed as the courage that was displayed by the bench in making such an important ruling. However, for the first time, the former Law Society of Kenya president has appeared looking to ride on the coattails of his successor by claiming that one of the reasons Maraga was in a position to do what he did is because he was head of the Judiciary Working Committee on Elections Preparation, JWCEP, which he appointed Maraga to serve in as vice-chair.
Dr. Willy Mutunga was speaking on KBC channel one, during an interview with the station’s presenter Tom Mboya, on the KBC’s prime time show, Perspective.
Despite his assertion concerning the JWCEP, Dr. Willy Mutunga nevertheless continued to maintain his admiration for CJ Maraga, saying that his courage was not only exemplary but also exceptional, and that most Kenyans don’t know the pressure that comes from the powers that be in the event of such a decision.
Seeming to also express somewhat regret perhaps for the first time, Mutunga said that they would have probably made a different decision during their own 2013 election petition if they’d had time to scrutinise all the 33,000 polling stations.
Justice Maraga was appointed by retired Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in May 2012 as the vice chair of the Kenya Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparations (JWCEP) which was constituted to ensure the judiciary was fully prepared to deal in a timely manner, with any disputes that would arise from the March 2013 General Election.
As a result of the committee’s work, the judiciary was in position to deal with all election petitions within the strict statutory timelines. The committee was thus reconstituted in August 2015 as a standing Committee and renamed the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) with Justice Maraga as chairperson.
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