Professor Makau Mutua has defended a tweet he wrote in 2013 saying he will have no problem working with President Uhuru Kenyatta if appointed Chief Justice shaming Prof Githu Muigai who in the interview seemed determined to bring down the Harvard trained professor.
The tweet read: “As a matter of my freedom of conscience and thought, I can’t accept Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Kenya. I can’t and won’t.”
He told the Judicial Service Commission panel on Wednesday that the tweet was his personal view as a citizen.
“I never said Uhuru is not fit to serve. I dissented with the Supreme Court decision. My view was that ICC suspects should not offer themselves to vie for office,” he said.
He said as CJ, there will be a difference between ‘citizen Makau Mutua’, who has a right to dissent, and “Chief Justice Makau Mutua”.
“I regard the CJ’s job as one to lead, inspire, provide vision for the Judiciary. I don’t regard the CJ’s job as that of a legal mechanic, I regard it as that of a judicial leader.
Mutua further noted that his interest as a lawyer has not been courtroom experience but the relationship between the state and the individual.
“We teach and train our students as lawyers to perform many functions in society. Knowledge is not mechanical and I am very proud of my legal experience,” he said.
Githu Muigai: Does that mean that you do not recognize him as your President?
Makau Mutua: The question of my recognizing Mr Kenyatta as President doesn’t arise. There’s no constitutional predicate that requires a citizen to bow down to Mr Kenyatta just because the IEBC and the Supreme Court declared him the validly elected President. That’s the opinion of those institutions, with which I disagree with all due respect to them.
Citizens must obey their conscience and my conscience tells me that the election was so flawed that I would be untruthful to myself and abusive to my conscience, if I was to refer to refer to Uhuru Kenyatta by any other salutation except Mr Kenyatta.
Githu Muigai: Can you call Uhuru Kenyatta- President Uhuru Kenyatta, or will you forever stick to your normal Mr Uhuru Kenyatta?
Makau Mutua: I believe Uhuru Kenyatta’s gender is male. That’s why I address him as Mr Kenyatta. I don’t call him Uhuru or Kenyatta, but Mr Kenyatta, which is what proper educated protocol requires.
I have never disputed that the IEBC declared Mr Kenyatta President of the Republic of Kenya, a declaration that was affirmed by the Supreme Court. In that sense, Mr Kenyatta was declared by those two bodies the de jure and de facto the President of the Republic of Kenya.
I publicly stated and tweeted after those declarations that “As a matter of freedom of conscience and thought, I can’t accept Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Kenya. I can’t and won’t.” My views haven’t changed, and won’t change. That’s because I believe the election was compromised and not free or fair.