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Uhuru cannot be sued while in office, lawyer tells Supreme Court

By Justus Karanja

President Uhuru Kenyatta is constitutionally protected from civil and criminal litigation while in office, Senior Counsel Waweru Gatonye (pictured) has told the Supreme Court.

Gatonye who is the president’s lawyer at the ongoing Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) petition at the Supreme Court submitted the Head of State enjoys absolute immunity and cannot be sued by anybody while performing his official duties.

He told the bench led by Chief Justice Martha Koome that the lower courts erred when they found that the president can be sued.

Gatonye faulted the Court of Appeal and the High Court rulings that, he said, exposed the President to legal charges in a personal capacity whether in office or not.

The lawyer said the lower courts made the conclusion though the president had not been sued with respect to his private life.

He argued that the president was performing his official duty when he was pushing the proposed constitutional amendment bill.

The lawyer said that taking the Head of State to court was a way to destruct him from his official duties.

He was making his submission in petition filed by the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and city lawyer Morara Omoke after the High Court and the Court of Appeal shot down the BBI Bill saying the entire process was unconstitutional.

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