LSK responds to Ruto’s remarks on using the sword

President William Ruto’s statement that he would use his sword to deal with those opposing the Housing Levy through the courts has been interpreted as aggressive and reckless.

While the President was sending a message that it is his way or the highway, there is more at stake.

The ceremonial sword, handed down with the constitution from one commander-in-chief to the next, has never been wielded to deal with anyone or to suggest veto power.

According to recent comments by President Ruto, the sword kept at Harambee House may soon be used for another purpose.

“These people who are frustrating through the courts on the Housing Levy are the real enemies of our country, you gave me the power, this sword is not for chopping vegetables,” Ruto remarked.

Among the petitioners who have filed cases in court are Busia Senator Okiyah Omtata and the Law Society of Kenya. On 28 November, the High Court dealt a blow to the 1.5% housing levy, declaring it unconstitutional because it was discriminatory and created an unequal playing field.

Irked by President Ruto’s remarks, Law Society of Kenya President Eric Theuri responded on ‘X’, formerly Twitter, where he wrote.

“Alongside the sword, the President was given the Constitution. The sword is intended to protect & uphold the Constitution& is not an instrument of oppression. As advocates, we similarly took an oath to protect the Constitution & rule of law. We will do so candidly, boldly & won’t be threatened or intimidated from challenging any government decision that offends the Constitution. The Constitution of Kenya is our sword & we will swing it against impunity”

The President’s statement comes against the backdrop of various statements that have portrayed him as bullish in implementing his policies and consolidating the support of Kenyans. Many have argued that if the President goes ahead with his open threats, he will have violated the very constitution he has sworn to uphold.

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