Judge John Mativo

Challenging culture of impunity in Kenya

Three former university professors have brought a claim in Kenya’s high court asking for restitution for human rights infringements. They seem to be part of a trend to end the culture of impunity in Kenya. The three had been detained and tortured under a previous government, and now, more than 30 years later, wanted recognition of what had happened, plus compensation for how their lives had been ruined by the unlawful action against them.

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The solemn opening remarks by Judges John Mativo and Pauline Nyamweya signaled the gravity of the decision they were about to give and the horrors the case would disclose: torture, unlawful abduction, years in illicit detention, lives wrecked, bodies broken.

Law is the “bloodline of every nation”, the judges said. “The end of law is justice. It gives justice meaning.” It was a shield or refuge from misery, oppression and injustice.

“Despicable” behaviour outside debating chamber not privileged, judge tells assembly members

Dressed in a pink suit and looking rather bewildered, Nairobi city county Speaker, Beatrice Elachi, is seen on camera watching as protesting assembly members demonstrate in her office. They wanted her to step down and yelled and shouted at her to achieve their aim. Since that day in September 2018, Elachi has been removed from her position – but the demonstrating assembly members are now under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for their behaviour in her office.

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A year to the day after she was elected Speaker, Beatrice Elachi was thrown out of office after a demonstration by assembly members. Or, as Wikipedia more politely puts it, she was "impeached" as the speaker of Nairobi County Assembly.

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