The Law Society of Kenya, Amnesty International Kenya, Kenya Human Rights Commission and Haki Africa, have condemned the public statements made by President William Ruto as he warned all those who have filed cases in court over the control and ownership of the Mumias Sugar Company.
The President gave those who have filed the cases in court to vacate the country, go to jail or go to heaven. The words have attracted reactions from Kenyans and Human Rights Organisations for they have been considered as a threat to persons involved in the cases.
The strong warning comes against the backdrop of the reported abduction and subsequent release of Mr. Jaswant Singh Rai, one of the parties involved in court dispute over, Mumias Sugar Company. The circumstances surrounding his public abduction are unknown yet.
In a Press Statement dated August 29, The Human Rights Organisations have questioned the Government’s commitment to upholding the right to life, protection of persons against cruel and inhumane treatment, the right to equal treatment before the law, the right to live anywhere in the country as well as the right to own property.
Despite the fact that the constitution guarantees all these rights to every person, the Head of State seems to suggest that he can disregard them.
The constitution also guarantees every person the right to access courts and to have every dispute determined in accordance with the laws of land. The president’s remarks therefore, appear to suspend the law, unconstitutional and seem an attempt to return the country to the dark days of repressive regime that violated the human rights and freedom of Kenyans.
The organisations are deeply concerned with the statement since there have been increased cases of misuse of police power during the last riots as well as cases of police being used to aid and abet land grabbing.
They also said that the statements undermine the authority of the Court and signal a departure from use of legitimate dispute resolution mechanisms in favour of abolition of constitutional rights, threats and intimidation.
The Law Society of Kenya said that it is aware of the plans to cripple its operations, through unwarranted tax audit and investigations by the Kenya Revenue Authority. The Society remains steadfast in upholding the Rule of Law and will take all reasonable measures to challenge any steps taken to intimidate advocates or the Society from discharging its mandate.
The organisations have now urged the President to retrace his steps and reverse the growing culture of impunity and misuse of power. They have reminded the Head of state to return to the path of the Rule of Law and upholding the Constitution, as it is the only way to build the country.
They also urged members of The Human Rights Organisations to remain steadfast in the defence of the Constitution and the Rule of Law, in tribute and respect to those who fought for the liberation we are all enjoying through their blood and lives.
They have called religious leaders and all Kenyans of goodwill to come out and condemn the attempts to return to our country to the dark ages and departure from the Rule of Law.
They have maintained that the Government needs to respect the Rule of Law and the Constitution, and that, Kenya must take its rightful place within the community of nations as a country that respects its law and is governed on the basis of respect of the universal fundamental rights and freedoms.