Kenya’s government denied a request by Supreme Court judges for extra security after one of their bodyguards was shot, preventing them from holding a hearing that could have delayed last week’s presidential election, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Only Chief Justice David Maraga turned up on October 25, the day before the presidential rerun was to be held, to hear a petition on postponing the elections.
But without a minimum quorum of five judges the petition failed to be heard so the rerun went ahead as planned.
The day before, the bodyguard of the Supreme Court’s deputy chief justice was shot dead as he purchased pot plants near a highway.
Following this, the justices demanded that their security be publicly guaranteed or they would refuse to attend the petition hearing.
However, Interior ministry spokesperson Mwenda Njoka not only denied that the judges’ request for extra security in the wake of the shooting had been denied but stated the killing of the bodyguard was a simple robbery and not an attempt to intimidate the judiciary.
A judicial source said the judiciary was angered at this attempt to write the incident off as a regular crime.
“In Kenya, ordinary criminals don’t attack government vehicles driven by armed government agents who know how to shoot,” the source said.
- African News Agency (ANA)