One Jonathan Munene has sued Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Immigration Services director Alexander Muteshi and Attorney-General Paul Kihara Kariuki, for withdrawing the diplomatic passports of High Court judges and denying them access to VIP lounges at airports.
The 2012 legal notice listed government officials entitled to diplomatic passports and the use of VIP lounges but excluded High Court judges who enjoyed these benefits in the past. In the Judiciary, the listing only spared the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges and their spouses.
According to Munene, this move is discriminatory and contrary to the law since all judges, regardless of the courts in which they serve, are of equal status. He now wants the 2012 legal notice the matter recalled so the judges’ benefit of diplomatic passports and use of VIP lounges.
“Unless this matter is heard and determined, the fabric of judicial independence, rule of law and general constitutional order will be subverted. Judges of the High Court have, over time, been denied access to airport lounges, unlike their superior courts’ counterparts,” Munenwe’s lawyers urged
President, Deputy President, and the Prime Minister, together with their family members, as the ones qualified to use the VIP lounges with the diplomatic passports.
Cabinet Secretaries, the Secretary to the Cabinet, Speakers of the National Assembly, the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecution, Solicitor General and Auditor-General are exempted together with their spouses, Others include the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service, Inspector-General of police, governors, Aide-de-Camp to the President and former Presidents, Prime Minister, Deputy President and Foreign Service Officer among others.