Omtatah asks court to study Kenyatta statue

Activist Okiya Omtatah wants the court to visit Kenyatta International Convention Centre to determine whether the Kenyatta statue in the new currency notes is part of the building. 

Omtatah told Justices George Kimondo, Anthony Murima and Asenath Nyaboke that the site visit will enable the court to see the sign on the high pedestal carrying the statue which reads, ‘This statue is dedicated to His Excellency Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, father of the nation, first president and commander of the armed forces of Kenya’.

The court will deliver its ruling on Thursday morning.

The Central Bank of Kenya has denied claims the new generation banknotes bear the portrait of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. 

Governor Patrick Njoroge, in response to Omtatah’s suit, said prior to adopting the usage of an image of the KICC on the front of all new notes, the CBK on October 4, 2013, sought legal advice from then-Attorney General Githu Muigai.

Githu advised the CBK that the image of KICC was not in contravention of the law. Njoroge says KICC is a key national monument under the National Museums and Heritage Act and should be preserved as depicting the very essence of Kenya and its national heritage.

The activist in his suit accused Njoroge of violating the Constitution by having a statue of Kenya’s founding president at the back of the new notes. 

He also accused CBK of not conducting public participation in the design stage to determine the imagery on the notes.

But the governor argues that the process of design, printing and issuance of the new currency was strictly conducted in compliance with the Constitution and the law and was not tainted with illegality as alleged by Omtatah. 

The petitioner also wants the court to admit his amended petition. He says he has come across new material evidence necessitating the amendment. 

“The proposed amendment is necessary for determining all the questions in controversy and to avoid multiplicity of suits,” he says. 

The matter was listed for hearing on Wednesday.

The court was ready to continue with hearing but Omtatah had not filed his submissions. The bench directed him to file his documents by close of business on Wednesday. 

Edited by R.Wamochie 

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