Anxiety as Uhuru remains mum on fate of new judges

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 00:00 |
Chief Justice David Maraga. Photo/FILE

The Judiciary has once against found itself in a difficult situation over the fate of judges shortlisted for promotion after the Executive allegedly went mute on their gazettement.

Yesterday, Chief Justice David Maraga confirmed that President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to communicate to him after he submitted the names of judges recently recommended for appointment by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to serve in the Court of Appeal, Environment and Land Court and the Employment and Labour Relations Court. 

The CJ, however, denied claims Uhuru was uncomfortable with the names forwarded to him for appointment.

“I am yet to receive any kind of communication from the President himself and I am not aware of the above claims,” he said.

Contacted, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said she was not in a position to comment on the matter but would do so once she gets updated on the same.

A fortnight ago, JSC shortlisted 11 individuals to serve in the Appellate court. There is no set timeline within which the President should respond to such nominations. 

Those nominated were justices Francis Tuiyot, Weldon Korir, Mbogholi Msagha,  Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga, Joel Ngugi, Hellen Omondi, Pauline Nyamweya, Jessie Lesiit, Mumbi Ngugi and lawyer Kibaya Laibuta.

Sharp differences

The nomination ignited differences in the JSC, with the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) representative Macharia Njeru saying the list ought to have contained at least two lawyers.  

Maraga was addressing journalists at Sarova Whitesands Hotel on the sidelines of a five-day judges colloquium titled:  “Balancing Judicial Independence and Accountability” that kicked off yesterday. 

The CJ called on the judges to uphold judicial independence and act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the Judiciary.  He said Judiciary was in the process of adopting use of digital court recording and transcription systems.

More on National