Ruto's 'Mambo ni Matatu' Lands Him in Court

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Operation Linda Jamii on Tuesday filed a petition at the Milimani-based High Court seeking orders to have Ruto withdraw and formally apologise for the utterances.

The President, during an official tour to the Western region last week, warned that if the tycoons did not stop frustrating the government's efforts to initiate reforms in the sugar industry, only three options would be available to them; to flee the country, go to jail or go to heaven.

The lobby group argued that Ruto’s utterances border on cold-hearted death threats by the President who is supposed to be a symbol of national unity.

“The President’s comments if not retracted and an official unconditional apology proffered, will create a perception in Kenya that undermines judicial independence and will also see the rule of law disrespected without a recourse,” the group submitted.

While acknowledging that issues bedevilling the sugar sector required immediate intervention from relevant powers, Operation Linda Jamii submitted that the direction that the Head of State took was a dangerous and populist way to address the concerns.

According to the lobby group, the Mambo ni Matatu jibe not only amounts to death threats but also undermines the principles of the rule of law.

The lobby group also holds that the remark undermines the separation of powers doctrine and the checks and balances systems enshrined in the Constitution.

On why the group was taking the attorney general to court instead of Ruto, it explained, “The attorney general is the principal legal advisor to the National Government.”

“He represents the government in court or in any other legal proceedings to which the National Government is a party to.”

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