New bid to bypass Uhuru in judges row

A lawyer has filed a new case seeking to bypass President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) in the appointment of 41 judges.

The case, filed by Lawyer Adrain Kamotho, is expected to deepen the stalemate between Uhuru and the judiciary over the appointment of the judges.

The President has declined to appoint the new judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for promotion in a list forwarded in July and August last year. 

SEE ALSO :After Uhuru decision on housing, state must listen to people more

On February 6, the High Court had ordered Uhuru to appoint the judges within 14 days, which have since expired.  The period given to the President lapsed on February 20.

Lawyer Kamotho now wants the court to declare that due to Uhuru’s failure to make the appointment, the court should compel Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to gazette them and Chief Justice David Maraga to swear them in, paving the way for them to assume office.

He also wants the court to order the Controller of Budget to authorise withdrawal of funds for the new judges’ salaries and the Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai to provide their security.

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“In view of the reluctance, unwillingness and refusal by the respondent to show respect for the Constitution and the honourable court through compliance, the applicant has no other way of enforcing the orders of the court,” argued Kamotho.

After the High Court found that Uhuru should appoint the judges within 14 days, the AG filed a notice of appeal challenging the orders.

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Yesterday, Kamotho said that the AG had not obtained any orders from the appeals court which would be a hindrance to the 41 judges assuming office and that failure to obey court orders was a show of impunity.

“Unless the honourable court grants the orders sought, impunity will be further propagated, whereby the respondent will continue to deliberately ignore the orders of the honourable court. There is no known order of a competent court or any authority suspending, staying, varying, reviewing or in any manner setting aside the judgment rendered on February 6, 2020,” argued Kamotho.

This is a second time the court is being asked to declare that the President should be by-passed in the appointment process of a constitutional office holder.

In 2018, Court of Appeal Judge Mohamed Warsame was sworn in as a JSC member without Uhuru’s blessings.

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President Uhuru KenyattaJudicial Service CommissionController of Budget