By S. N. Barongo
- Under the Kenyan legal system, Court Orders, Rulings and Judgments, form part of the law of Kenya unless and until set aside by review or appeal.
- What else is needed to precipitate chaos and disorder in a society, if not a society wherein there is no law?
- Disobedience of Court Orders is a recipe for anarchy.
Many a time, we tend to esteem natural sciences such as physics and chemistry to the disdain of social sciences such as economics and political science.
The two sciences, of course, divert at different levels in terms of rigor, content and methods of study. Nevertheless, they are both equally important for the health, continuity, and well-being of humanity.
In the realm of the science and art of government, history and case studies have demonstrated to us that there is a certain set of principles whose adherence to safeguards and promotes the health of a constitutional democracy such as ours.
These include Constitutionalism, Rule of Law, Judicial Independence and Separation of Powers.
Application of and respect for these major principles is the sure foundation on which the success and prosperity of the oldest constitutional democracy in the world, the United States of America, rests.
Is it, really, possible to violate these principles and escape unscathed?
The President of the Republic of Kenya, a constitutional democracy, seems to answer in the affirmative.
On the second day of January this year, President William Ruto, while gracing a funeral at Nyandarua County, cited the Judiciary as his greatest impediment to his development agenda.
He alleged that some corrupt individuals were colluding with the Courts to get orders aimed at stalling various government projects for personal gain.
He further voiced his resolve to continue implementing projects subject to stay Orders from the Courts.
In other words, President Ruto has resolved to embrace and adopt the mantra of his predecessor, President Uhuru Kenyatta: “Defiance of Court Orders!”
Isn’t it interesting how history quickly repeats itself?
If President Ruto, indeed, decides to disobey Court Orders, he will usher in the Republic of Kenya to the sure path to anarchy.
For if the seniormost civil servant of the Republic of Kenya disobeys court orders, why should other subordinate civil servants such as Cabinet Secretaries, elected leaders and heads of government agencies obey court orders?
It is important to note that under the Kenyan legal system, Court Orders, Rulings and Judgments, form part of the law of Kenya unless and until set aside by review or appeal.
Under such a system, therefore, a Court Order carries the same weight as an Act of Parliament or an Executive Order.
It, therefore, follows that a culture wherein the disobedience of Court Orders flourishes is simply a culture wherein the Rule of Law is despised.
And if a society is not governed by the Rule of Law, what is the alternative, if not the Rule of Men (Whatever one thinks is the right thing to do in a particular circumstance)?
What else is needed to precipitate chaos and disorder in a society, if not a society wherein there is no law? And if present not obeyed?
It is a clear fact that if the current trend, wherein court cases are launched to challenge government projects, persists, President Ruto, at the end of the five years, will have nothing to show in terms of his legacy.
To avert this looming danger, the President has two major options. First, he should initiate and cheerlead a campaign via the Judicial Service Commission aimed at cleansing the alleged corruption in the Judiciary.
Secondly, the President should fortify his advisory arsenal by scouting for and recruiting brilliant legal minds to advise him accordingly. Sound legal from the initiation stage of various projects will avert unnecessary court cases.
A constitutional democracy flourishes under a culture of Rule of Law. Disobedience of Court Orders is a recipe for anarchy.
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Court cases will never end. Sound legal advice and foresight will help President Ruto steer and accomplish his vision for the country.