Opposition leader Raila Odinga Wednesday blasted Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i for what he said was going against the spirit of his deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta, following the top Jubilee government’s official’s rant about ‘evil’ judicial officers.
In a statement, Mr Odinga said Dr Matiang’i’s rant against the Judiciary was wrong, and he should have instead, appealed decisions he was not happy with.
“As a cabinet secretary of this republic, this outburst by Dr Matiang’i was highly irresponsible and reckless. In our statement to the nation, President Kenyatta and I urged every leader and every Kenyan to embrace the responsibilities they know to be theirs and help the nation reconcile and make progress. Dr Matiang’i failed terribly in this yesterday,” said Mr Odinga.
Dr Matiang’i met the National Assembly committee on security on Tuesday and told them of a clique of judicial officers, whom he said included activist lawyers, members of the civil society, that he argued “want to drag us by the collar through trial by the public court.”
“The CS appeared before Parliament to answer questions pertaining to abuse of rights of citizens and undermining the rule of law. Instead, he came out as the personification of impunity. Parliament should not allow itself to be a platform for State officers to make attacks on other arms of government,” Mr Odinga said in a statement.
After the March 9 deal sealed with a handshake on the steps of Harambee House, Mr Odinga said, he and President Kenyatta had agreed to respect the rule of law, and that Dr Matiang’i’s conduct before the committee, “failed terribly” in keeping that spirit.
“We have just come from the longest, most dramatic political period in Kenya’s history. Every leader should know that and should behave and talk in ways that will help Kenyans re-focus on the problems we have in a sober and rational manner rather than worsen them. The politics and leadership of chest-thumping, fear mongering, hate and division must end in Kenya,” he said.
Mr Odinga also faulted the Interior CS move to castigate his predecessors in the ministry for what he said was selling citizenship, and massive fraud in the immigration department.
“If the CS feels that his predecessors in office did not carry out their work in a way that is satisfactory, he is the Cabinet Secretary now. He should correct what he believes is a mistake and change the processes of the Ministry so that those mistakes do not compromise the State,” the ODM leader said.
“But he should not treat Kenyans to the drama that he played out yesterday before members of the National Assembly.”