Fill position vacated by Raila, urges Mutunga

Ex-Chief Justice says President Uhuru and Nasa leader Handshake has eroded the oversight role of Opposition

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has called for urgent filling  of the vacuum created in the position of Opposition leader.

He said the Handshake saw Opposition leader, Raila Odinga seemingly vacating the place of the “people’s” leader and in retrospect, that position remains unoccupied.

He said an alternative progressive leader needs to urgently fill the vacuum created.  “After the Handshake, Raila vacated the position of the “people’s” leader, a vacuum that must be filled urgently by an alternative progressive leader,”  he said.

“I want to warn if that vacuum is not filled soon, Raila will go back to it… he is the most astute politician I have worked with, the rest are his students,” he added.

He spoke yesterday in Nairobi during the unveiling of a book titled  ‘Kenya: The Failed Quest for Electoral’ Justice’ by John Onyando, which seeks to ignite dialogue towards electoral justice.

He spoke  even as he defended his tenure and specifically with regards to the 2013 presidential election  petition. Mutunga said the book talks about Supreme Court having acquitted itself last year as opposed to the situation in 2013 but he was categorical that the situations were different in both cases.  “I cannot rubbish how we handled the case. There was nonetheless a lot of external pressure in both. We must protect the Judiciary from external pressure,” said Mutunga.

The unveiling was presided over by Uganda’s Opposition chief, Kizza Besigye, who took time to narrate the magnitude of electoral injustice over the years in his country. “It is a huge risk to invite me here… I am out of jail on bond on very many charges,” said Besigye as he commenced his speech, which lasted well over an hour.

Besigye lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila for what he described as an unexpected and profound step they took to have the Handshake after the hotly contested 2017 General Election.

“The Handshake seemed to have ended a dramatic impact in Kenya and also avoided tensions palpable from far. We hope the Handshake results into a lasting change, we do not want to see a repeat of circumstances before it,” he said.

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