- Lessons and Implications of the Confirmation of Charges Against Kenya's 'Ocampo Four'
- Finance Minister Quits Over ICC Charges
- Shortage of HIV Test Kits Raises Concerns
- Living On the Edge in Turkana Region
- Ali Breaks Silence, Describes Delight At Acquittal
- Uhuru, Ruto Eligible for Presidency - CIC
- Tea Sector Posts Record Earnings in 2011
- Resettle IDPs, Urges Annan
- Uhuru, Muthaura Have Done the Right Thing
- All Displaced People Should Return Home
- Concern Raised As Parents Shun Schools in Poll Violence Hotspots
- Ruling On IEBC Hiring in February
- Country Working Towards Conditions Needed for Direct Flights to U.S.
- How ICC Claimed Kibaki's Lieutenants
- Geothermal Project to Receive Sh10 Billion Funding Boost
- Five Million to Get IDs Before Elections
- Speed Up Building Port
- Uhuru and Muthaura Did Well to Quit Posts
- A Full Plate Awaits Githae
- Clashes Continue in Moyale
- Baraza Case to Be Heard Monday
- Two Firms in Joint Venture to Drill for Oil Near Lodwar
- Exit Uhuru, Muthaura
- ICC Charges Hound Uhuru Out of Treasury
- Consumers Grow Despite Inflation
- Poor Relations Between Banks Blamed for Cash Shortages
- Fish Prices Up As Vegetable Supply Dwindles
- Consumers to Pay More for Milk and Bread As Prices Rise
- Kibaki Tasks Ex-Dar CJ to Lead Probe in Kenya
- Mombasa Port Cargo Congestion Forces Three-Month Fees Waiver
5 January 2012
The Village Market shopping mall incident involving Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Barasa and a security guard is going to be a test on how we interpret and perceive Chapter Six of our Constitution.
When tempers cool and politicking stops, we will need to look at the import of the leadership and integrity chapter of our Constitution so that it continues to be a guiding principal to our State officers.
Chapter Six is one of the most important in this nation's Constitution for it is about public confidence in constitutional offices. All State officers are constitutionally required to bring honour to their office in both their public and private dealings.
By engaging in a verbal exchange with a security guard, however much she regrets it, Barasa has damaged her reputation in the public eyes. At a time when this nation is on high alert, Ms Barasa should lead from the front in respecting laid down security procedures - her status notwithstanding.
Clause 75 of the Constitution is very clear: "A State Officer shall behave, whether in public and official life, in private life or in association with other persons in a manner that avoids... (c) demeaning the office the officer holds."
So far, Ms Barasa has not denied the incident, though there are disparities on the level of threats issued.
If we are going to uphold the dignity of the Judiciary, we believe that Ms Barasa should quit her position on accounts of Sections 168 (e) on "misbehaviour". While this may appear too grave, it will be a victory for our Constitution and a show of courage for Ms Barasa.
In Western democracies, such an incident hardly goes unpunished, especially for public officers.
They quit office to protect both their integrity and that of their office. We are saying that because we must walk the talk provided in Chapter Six of the Constitution.
Whichever way, however painful, the Village Market incident should not be treated lightly.
It is now upon the Judicial Service Commission, acting on its own motion, to investigate whether Ms Barasa committed any offence demeaning to her office or for any other Kenyan to petition the JSC for Ms Barasa's removal in accordance with the law.
Having said that, it is for Kenyans to keep watch over our leaders and demand the very best from our State officers.
We cannot roll back the gains we have achieved at the altar of activism. For that is the little price we pay for integrity.