Kenyans react to Justice Mugure Thande's transfer

Justice Mugure Thande. [File, Standard]

The transfer of Lady Justice Mugure Thande from Nairobi to Malindi has elicited mixed reactions from netizens across social media platforms.

Thande, the High Court judge who froze the implementation of Finance Act 2023, is among 13 judges who have been reshuffled to head different courts.

Currently, she has been transferred from Milimani Constitutional & Human Rights Division to the Malindi High Court.

Busia Senator, Okiya Omtatah, was surprised by this move. During an interview with The Star, he said that the transfer came sooner than expected.

"I don't think the judge has already served three years as supposed to be, but I will confirm...I'm not sure,” he said.

Some of the netizens have come out to second Omtatah, saying that the transfer seems like a punishment for suspending the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.

“Lady Justice Mugure Thande worked hard all her life to get to Milimani Law Courts but then because her interpretation of the law rubbed Nabii the wrong way, she is demoted to Malindi,” read a tweet by J.M Juma on X formerly known as Twitter.

“This only makes people perceive the transfers and Judiciary in bad faith especially considering what happened yesterday with Okiya’s case,” Bravin Yuri tweeted.

Others are disputing these allegations citing that transfers are a normal procedure in the judiciary, just like any other work place.

“There's no permanent station in the Judiciary. Transfers are normal,” Peter Ndegwa tweeted.

“What is wrong with being transferred.  Are the ones who were working in Malindi before her less important?” asked Sheriff Jere via X.

Thande has also worked on other cases among them being suspending the decision by the government to lift the 10-year ban on Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods.

In the case, she issued an order stopping the Agriculture and Trade Ministries from importing any GMOs into the country and if they had already imported, she banned them from distributing the food.

The transfer list also includes Lady Justices Hedwig Ong’udi and Aleem Visram who were among the three judges who quashed the appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs).