The Kenya Forum | CJ Willy Mutunga: a discussion on politicians taking responsibility - The Kenya Forum

October 11, 2012


A commentator on our discussion of Willy Mutunga’s house; it opens wider discussion on whether politicians take responsibility in Kenya.

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CJ Willy Mutunga: a discussion on politicians taking responsibility

CJ Willy Mutunga: a discussion on politicians taking responsibility

Mohan Mathew is a regular and erudite contributor to the Kenya Forum’s comments pages. You may have to go back to the Kenya Forum article, ‘CJ Willy Mutunga to have house built for him, and a helicopter?, published yesterday if you haven’t read it already to follow his argument but Mohan says we’ve got it wrong.

The Kenya Forum welcomes the views of its readers and will readily publish articles by them when we are able to do so.

Read what Mohan Mathew has written and make you own mind up on the subject (the headlines have been inserted by the Kenya Forum).

RE ‘CJ Willy Mutunga to have house built for him, and a helicopter?’ Comments by Mohan Mathew

“I don’t understand what this article is driving at. If an official mansion/palace/house is built for the CJ, it may be used by the present CJ and then be used by his successors. Likewise, a helipad is unnecessary in the compound as the helicopter to be bought is government property and therefore will be kept in a government owned hangar.”


“Article 38 (3) (c) and Article 10 of the constitution do not necessarily contradict each other. But if anyone argues they do, let me say logically speaking Article 10 over-rides the other with a rider, ‘…..without unreasonable restrictions…..’ . A court will normally interpret the two in the best interests of the nation to arrive at its verdict.

No one should have the hubris to think of Kenya in isolation from the rest of the democratic world. But that’s [what] our politicians and the so called arm-chair analysts more often than not do.”


“A man not yet found guilty is considered innocent as per jurisprudence accepted all over the world. But in practice, a minister in India offers to resign when a fatal train accident occurs, accepting moral responsibility because he/she believes in the democratic dictum – ‘The Buck Stops Here’.

British ministers and MPs promptly resign when they are implicated in sexual or financial scams. Japanese leaders perform a form of Seppuku (ritual suicide, Harakiri, – cutting open the stomach) when their reputation is soiled severely by allegations (not court verdicts – they don’t wait for the arraignment in courts). South Koreans follow the same route. Even the most powerful head of state, President Nixon of the US resigned on account of the Watergate scandal.

I do not advocate the blind mimicking of the above by our leaders, but they could at least act civilly by accepting responsibility, or offering to step aside so that impartial investigations may be conducted in their absence. Instead they often hang on shamelessly singing ‘I won’t resign’, ‘they want to finish me’, refrain, apparently with the tacit approval of the President or the PM.

If they are sacked or forced to step down, they will reappear in the house through the kitchen door stealthily, left unbolted by the appointing authority.

More than half of our ministers and MPs would be jobless now had they been in those positions in some other countries. They are however lucky they are lording over an ethnically brainwashed, hand-out-sedated, intellectually lethargic, often unconcerned electorate as if they were a bunch of Lotus-Eaters.”


“As for the question if a president elect may be hauled to The Hague to answer criminal charges of varying degrees, the answer is YES. A president, irrespective of whether the country has ratified the Rome Statute (State Party) governing the operations of the ICC or not, is not immune from prosecution by the court. His/her immunity can’t extend outside the borders of the country. Sudan’s Al Bashir bears perfect testimony to this fact.

In the same vein, politicians elsewhere wouldn’t dream of being candidates to vie for even civic seats if they have been implicated by a government appointed inquiry commission in atrocities committed. They would fight it out in a court of law to clear the name.

But ours manipulated the majority of MPs to thwart the setting up of a local tribunal opting for the ICC to try them. Now they are crying foul and deceitfully accuse the PM of orchestrating their arraignment before the court of their choice. The cases have proceeded to the trial phase as the court thinks they have a case to answer. There is little room for manoeuvre, I am afraid.

Kenyans were voted the most optimistic and happiest of all nationalities, some time ago despite the wretched state the vast majority of them find themselves in.

No other people have been able to dethrone them till now, I suppose.”


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