President approves 34 but six judges – Kenya News Agency
President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally approved the nominations of 34 of the 40 judges appointed by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) almost two years ago, sparking controversy over the delay.
The head of state approved the controversial list but rejected six of the candidates in a June 3 Gazette notice, breaking the deadlock over the late approval that escalated into a frigid affair between the executive and the judicial.
Four notable personalities missing from the approved list of candidates included Judges George Odunga and Professor Joel Ngugi. Weldon Korir and Aggrey Muchelule.
Others were Judges Makori Evans Kiago and Judith Omange Cheruiyot whose names were rejected and referred to the commission.
Successful candidates include longtime judge Msagha Mbogholi and his High Court colleagues Hellen Omondi, Francis Tuiyott, Jessie Lesiit, Mumbi Ngugi and Pauline Nyamweya, as well as lawyer Dr Imanata Laibuta.
The President also appointed nine judges to the Employment and Labor Relations Tribunal and 18 more to the Environment and Land Tribunal, leaving out two judges.
The judges appointed to the Labor and Labor Relations Tribunal are Baari Christine Noontatua, Gakeri Jacob Kariuki, Keli Jemima Wanza, Mwaure Ann Ngibuini, Matanga Bernard Odongo Manani, Rutto Stella Chemtai, Kebira Ocharo, Kitiku Agnes Mueni-Nzei and Nderitu David Njagi .
People appointed by the Land and Environment Tribunal include Mboya Oguttu Joseph, Naikuni Lucas Leperes, Mwanyale Michael Ngolo, Addraya Edda Dena, Kimani Lilian Gathoni, Kamau Joseph Mugo, Wabwoto Karoph Edward, Koross Anne Yatich Kipingor and Gicheru Maxwell Nduiga . The others are Mogeni Ann Jacqueline Akhalemesi, Ongarora Fred Nyagaka, Christopher Kyania Nzili, Mugo David Mwangi, Omollo Lynette Achieng ‘, Washe Emmanuel.
The recruitment of judges was finalized by the commission between July and August 2019 and forwarded the list to President Kenyatta for appointment.
Chief Justice David Maraga, during his tenure in which the judges’ recommendations were made, begged the president to appoint the judges, to no avail, with the president citing integrity concerns for the unsuccessful appointment .
“The constitution gives no mandate to the president to perform any other act on [receiving] names recommended by the JSC, except to name them, ”Maraga said.
The former CJ noted that the situation was probably worse at the appeals court, which had 15 judges serving from across the country.
Ironically, Judges George Odunga and Professor Joel Ngugi were among the five judges who declared the Bridge Building Initiative (BBI) illegal and further ruled that the President had violated Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and integrity, for trying to change the Constitution. through the unconstitutional process.
Chief Justice Martha Koome, while seeking the post, vowed to unfreeze the icy relationship with the executive through dialogue to break the impasse to ensure that the functions of the judiciary are not hampered due to lack of quorum of judges.
By Alice Gworo