The strained relationship between the Judiciary and other arms of government played out on Thursday after Chief Justice David Maraga and other senior judicial officers skipped the Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi.
The seat reserved for the Chief Justice remained conspicuously vacant at the front row of the dais normally occupied by among others the President, his deputy, Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate, House Majority Leaders and the Chief of Defence Forces.
Also missing at the Jamhuri Day celebrations were all the judges of the Supreme Court including the Registrar, who would have perhaps represented the Judiciary at the State function.
Interestingly, however, when Deputy President William Ruto was beginning his speech, he mentioned Chief Justice David Maraga among the guests present. It still remains unclear whether or not the deputy president was aware of Maraga’s absence.
Maraga had, however, previously hinted that he would stop attending all State functions due to what he described as mistreatment and disrespect by the Executive arm of government.
In a televised address on November 4, 2019 Maraga said: “Unless I am treated with dignity due to my office, I will choose which of State functions to attend.”
At the time, Maraga revealed that during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa, he was allowed to walk to the dais through a sidewalk and that the Master of Ceremony did not acknowledge his arrival yet the same was done for other senior State officers.
He went further to lay bare the frustration his office and the entire Judiciary have been subjected to by the Executive.