There was a heated exchange at the High Court in Nairobi after Attorney General Kihara Kariuki failed to show up in court in a case where he had been summoned to explain the Government’s reluctance to observe court orders requiring the unconditional return of lawyer Miguna Miguna.
Miguna’s lawyers did not mince their words in expressing their displeasure against AG Kihara and the entire government which has defied more than thirteen court orders on the return of their client.
The exiled NRM activist was represented by veteran lawyers, Dr John Khaminwa and Harun Ndubi who made minded meat of the junior lawyer Kihara had sent to represent him.
State counsel Christopher Marwa had a hard time getting audience before Justice John Mativo who presided over the case.
“We have a real problem in this country. The entire world is watching as Kenya blatantly refuses to obey court orders. We need a mature lawyer to shed light on this matter. If the AG cannot come here in his personal capacity, let the Solicitor General appear,” Khaminwa said.
When Marwa attempted to interject, a visibly upset Khaminwa rose to dismiss the junior lawyer.
“With tremendous respect to the young learned friend, the way he is addressing the court, he is not doing it as the Attorney General of Kenya. We need the AG to come and address this court (Marwa attempts to interject but Justice Mativo notes that his speech is not going on record). My Lord I ‘m glad you are not writing what he is saying, it is not worth writing at all,” the Senior lawyer lamented.
“My learned senior colleague may not have the benefit of going through this provision of the constitution..” Marwa attempted a come back.
“With respect, we object to this insult, we have practiced constitutional law longer than this boy. He cant tell us that we do not know constitutional law,” Ndubi hit back.
“With due respect, the state counsel is illiterate on constitutional law…this is a serious matter, it is not a battle of wits on who knows more or who can quote legal technicalities. It is a serious problem of disobedience of court orders,” Dr Khaminwa added.
Marwa did not attempt to correct his senior colleagues.
Justice Mativo ruled that AG Kihara should personally respond to the court through a legal opinion explaining the Government of Kenya’s disobedience of court orders.
Here is a VIDEO of the dramatic exchange: