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Who is Justice Musinga?

By | May 22nd 2011

By Alex Ndegwa

High Court judge Daniel Kiio Musinga, who made the ruling on Friday blocking Monday’s Kamukunji by-election is no stranger to landmark decisions.

Justice Musinga has handled politically charged disputes and some of his popular decisions have rubbed the establishment the wrong way.

Justice Musinga was the first to nullify the election of a member of the Tenth Parliament in December 2008. Former Bomachoge MP, Joel Onyancha, was the first to lose his seat after Justice Musinga, sitting in the Kisii High Court nullified his election.

One year later in the same court, the same judge declared South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara was not validly elected as MP.

On Friday the judge found in favour of Paul Waweru Mwangi, a National Vision Party aspirant, that he had been unjustly denied a chance to contest the seat by the Kamukunji returning officer, Masindet Joseph Leboo.

In November last year, Justice Musinga stepped into the bitter political row over the disputed creation of 80 new constituencies.

He permanently blocked the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) from publishing the list of new electoral zones in the Kenya Gazette.

He described the failure by the team to determine details of the newly created constituencies and clear boundaries a recipe for chaos.

He confirmed interim orders issued by Justice Jeanne Gacheche that blocked the IIBRC from publishing the controversial list.

Early this year Justice Musinga was called upon to arbitrate in yet another political dispute that had caused a rift in the Coalition Government and sparked public outrage.

He ruled that President Kibaki’s nominations to key justice and budget office jobs were unconstitutional.

And the High Court further ruled that it would be unconstitutional for any State organ to approve the nominees.

Giving his ruling, Justice Musinga had this to say: "I am satisfied that the nominations were in breach of Article 27(3) of the Constitution that guarantees fundamental rights and freedom of women and men to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres."

President Kibaki had in December 2004, confirmed the appointment of Justice Musinga to the High Court after acting in the position since October 28, 2003.

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