Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome has skipped the Senate induction retreat in Naivasha where she was supposed to deliver a keynote speech today Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
Koome’s speech was delivered by a Judiciary official at Sawela Lodge, where Senators converge for the five-day induction retreat.
In her speech, the Chief Justice highlighted how the Judiciary had been the defender of devolution through landmark rulings the courts delivered in the past in favour of the devolved units.
“The Courts have been the foremost defenders of devolution. In every instance when devolution has been threatened, the courts and specifically the Supreme Court has stepped in to defend the spirit of devolution.
“I will illustrate this point with two landmark decisions. In Council of Governors & 47 others v Attorney General & 3 others (Interested Parties); Katiba Institute & 2 others (Amicus Curiae), on 15th May 2020 the Supreme Court rendered an Advisory Opinion on how the recurrent failure between the Senate and the National Assembly to agree on a Division of Revenue Bill would be resolved.
“The Court directed that funds equivalent to 50% of the previous year’s allocation should be disbursed to the Counties whenever the legislative chambers have not agreed on division of revenue between the two levels of government despite the commencement of a new financial year. This recurrent stalemate has often led to delayed disbursement of funds to the County Governments,” Koome said.
The Senate planned the five-day induction retreat in Naivasha beginning Tuesday, September 20.
It is the first time the Senators are converging after their swearing-in on September 9.
Senate Speaker Amason Kingi will officially open the conference whose theme is; Understanding The Mandate of the Senate And Strengthening Devolution Through Legislative Agenda.
Apart from Chief Justice Martha Koome who did not physically attend the Senate retreat, other notable speakers expected during the retreat include; the Attorney General, Treasury, Devolution and Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretaries.
Key discussions centre on devolution and the relationship with different arms of government, emerging challenges and expectations.
The Chief Justice reportedly skipped the Senate induction retreat in Naivasha to avoid being booed by Senators allied with Azimio la Umoja–One Kenya Coalition Party who opposed September 5, 2022, Supreme Court ruling that upheld William Ruto’s win.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga, after jetting back into the country from Zanzibar on September 15, threatened to organise one million protesters to storm the Judiciary to demand justice.
Raila spoke when he attended a luncheon of Governor Abdulswamad Nassir at Sarova Whitesands in Mombasa.
The Azimio leader said he was waiting for the full judgement of the Supreme Court before announcing the next course of action.
Raila insisted that the August 9 presidential election was interfered with by foreigners.