Court Orders President Uhuru to Appoint Rejected Six Judges in 14 Days

34 judges
Some of the 34 Judges Appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Courtesy]

The High Court in Nairobi has ordered President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint the six judges he left out while appointing 34 to various courts in June 2021.

In a ruling delivered on Thursday, a three judge-bench ordered the Head of State to appoint the remaining judges in 14 days failure to which they will be deemed appointed as it will be presumed his power/authority on the issue is expired.

The trio — Justice James Wakiaga, George Nduru, and William Musyoka — argued that the President violated the constitution in his decision to fail to appoint the six as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

The six are High Court Judges George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule, Joel Ngugi and Weldon Korir, Mombasa chief magistrate Evans Makori and High Court deputy registrar Judith Omange.

The declaration means that the six can be sworn in before the Chief Justice upon expiry of the 14-day period.

Read: Explain to Kenyans Why You Rejected Six Judges – Raila Challenges Uhuru

The petition was filed by Katiba Institute, a research, litigation, and community engagement organization operating as a non-profit, non-governmental body in Kenya.

Integrity issues 

Reports indicate that the President omitted the six over alleged integrity issues.

He had delayed the appointment of the judges for nearly two years over the alleged involvement of some of the nominees in corrupt practices.

Also Read: High Court Blocks any Attempt to Eject Six Judges Rejected by Uhuru from Office

Former Chief Justices David Maraga and Willy Mutunga are among individuals who criticized President Kenyatta’s decision.

In an interview with KTN News, Maraga said the nominees had been condemned unheard. He said anyone who had a problem with the individuals ought to have filed a complaint with JSC.

“When somebody loses a case before that judge he will come up with frivolous allegations that this man was bribed. We have reported that he is someone who takes bribes or is someone who has integrity issues,” said Maraga.

Also Read: Judges Association Wants Uhuru to Immediately Appoint Justices Odunga, Ngugi & 4 Others

“In the eyes of the public, these are the corrupt judges the President was talking about. You are literally ruining the careers of these judges and totally ruining their lives and those of their families. It can not be done so casually like it has been done. This is extremely bad.”

On his part, Mutunga said:  “The president’s conduct in this matter has been beneath the dignity of that high office. For two years he has subjected several advocates to untold personal suffering for no reason at all, and called into question the integrity of serving judges and judicial officers without any due process.”

“Most disturbing is the president’s decision to omit the names of six judges and judicial officers from the list. Strikingly, the presidential ‘list of hate’ has even mysteriously changed, meaning that the objection to the judges’ nomination is driven more by personal pique rather than principle.”

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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