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I don’t know why Uhuru failed to appoint 6 judges, says CJ Koome

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba | June 12th 2021

 

Chief Justice Martha Koome follows proceedings when the Court of appeal President David Musinga took oath of office at the Supreme Court grounds on Friday, June 11, 2021. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome yesterday said she does not know why President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to appoint six judges recommended by the JSC - Judicial Service Commission.

Speaking during the swearing in and assumption of office of new Court of Appeal President Justice Daniel Musinga, the CJ said it is unfortunate that four judges that should have joined them during the ceremony were left out for reasons she does not know.

“We celebrate the appointment of seven judges to the Court of Appeal, but it is a bitter sweet ceremony as we remember the four judges, who should have been with us, but for reasons not known to us, they are not with us,” said Koome.

Last week, President Kenyatta appointed seven out of 11 judges nominated to the Court of Appeal, but left out Justices Aggrey Muchelule, Joel Ngugi, George Odunga and Weldon Korir.

Justice Musinga, who assumed office as the third president of the Court of Appeal after promulgation of the 2010 Constitution said that he hopes the four will be appointed to join them soon.

The judge said that his vision will be to ensure that the Court of Appeal delivers on its mandate by quick delivery of justice.

“I reiterate my position as Chief Justice and Judicial Service Commission chair that all persons recommended by the commission must be appointed as judges. I will therefore continue to call on the president to appoint the six judges,” she said.

President Uhuru also did not appoint the Registrar of the High Court Judith Omange and Chief Magistrate Evans Makori, who had been recommended to the Environment and Lands Court.

Outgoing Court of Appeal president, Justice William Ouko, who was elevated to the Supreme Court asked the CJ to use her diplomatic skills to end the stalemate stating that the 20 judges at Appellate Court are not enough to handle the 8,420 pending cases.

Unlike her predecessors, Willy Mutunga and David Maraga who have hit out at the president for rejecting the six judges, Koome avoided a confrontational approach stating that she hopes the president will reconsider his decision and appoint them.

Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi, however, asked the CJ to demand that the remaining judges be appointed .

“The remaining judges must be gazetted and sworn-in immediately. President Kenyatta should not subject the Judiciary and the people to his endemic unmitigated violation of the Constitution,” said Havi.

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