UDA party Secretary General Cleophas Malala during a press conference on April 12, 2023, at UDA Headquarters along Ngong Road. Bahati among other artists was crowned as the new member of the party. PHOTO BY WILFRED NYANGARESI/ NATION
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The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party has defended President William Ruto amid his sustained criticism of the judiciary, stating that the Head of State is within his rights to call out rogue judges.

In a statement on Thursday, January 4, UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala faulted opposition leader Raila Odinga over claims that Ruto’s remarks amount to an attack on the independence of the judiciary.

Malala accused the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition leader of an attempt to derail the fight against corruption by “purporting to lecture the president on constitutionalism.”

He dismissed Raila as a leader who has always hidden behind the facade of fighting for the downtrodden and victims of injustices for selfish gain.

“When you see him purporting to lecture President, H.E William Ruto on matters constitutionalism, respect for the rule of law and judicial independence, Kenyans must look at him in the eyes and demand that for once, he comes clean on his intentions this time round. What is your “cut” in attempting to derail the fight against corruption, including within judicial circles by President Ruto?” the statement reads in part.

He claimed that the former prime minister lacked the moral ground and authority to the president on how to rule and exercise power bestowed on him through a popular vote.

“He has never won a presidential election or run a country to warrant guiding anyone on how to rule. He Is least qualified to give wisdom on the subject, except in the area of opposition politics, for which we grant him room to exercise his rhetoric and whines,” he added.

According to the former Kakamega senator, Raila’s challenge on President Ruto’s vow to deal with corrupt judicial officers, whom he accused of sabotaging government projects through court orders, should be strictly interrogated.

“Why would Raila want a cabal of a few corrupt elements working with Judiciary staff exercising judicial tyranny to deny Kenyans what the President promised to deliver to them during his campaigns?” Malala posed.

“Is Raila now telling us that corruption within the Judiciary should be allowed just because ours is an independent judicial organ? That a rogue judicial officer can hide under the blanket of judicial independence to perpetuate tyrannical tendencies and deny millions of other Kenyans their rights to development and even livelihoods?” he added.

He insisted that anyone who attempts to sabotage the Kenya Kwanza administration’s economic plan is an enemy of the country and must be called out.

“This includes litigants and judicial officers who think they stand on a higher pedestal than that of millions of Kenyans, who gave the Executive arm led by H. E Ruto the mandate to alleviate them from the hardships they had been condemned to by the handshake brothers, where Raila was a principal,” Malala said.

“…Being the last cog of the wheel that is the judicial process, judges and judicial staff must not be allowed the impunity to sabotage this, and especially when working with elements in the opposition whose interest is to see the government curtailed from delivering for Kenyans.”

President Ruto stirred a storm after revealing intentions to defy court orders on Tuesday.

Speaking at a funeral in Nyandarua County, Ruto accused some judges of being corrupt and colluding with cartels to sabotage government projects.

“We will not allow these people to derail our plans,” he said as he directed Roads Principal Secretary Joseph Mbugua to move with speed and allocate funds for the construction of a road in Nyandarua County which had stalled following a court order.

“I want to announce here that few people with vested interests who are beneficiaries of corruption in NHIF are now ganging up with corrupt judicial officers to stall reforms so that fake hospitals claims will continue. I want to assure you that this will not happen in Kenya again and we will stop it,” Ruto added.

Raila yesterday told off Ruto over his onslaught on the judiciary, saying he had crossed the line.

He accused the president of resorting to intimidation and diversionary tactics to distract Kenyans from pressing social and economic pressures.


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