Nakuru lawyers seek details on appointment of 60 magistrates by JSC

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Martha Koome handing certificate of good performance to Deputy Chief Justice Philomena during the Launch of the Performance Management Measurement Understanding Evaluation Report 2021/2022 held at the Judiciary in Nairobi. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

Nakuru-based lawyers want the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to reveal details concerning the recent recruitment of 60 magistrates.

Lawyer Kipkoech Ng'etich, in a letter to the JSC on behalf of Lawyer Peter Okiro claim the commission declared 60 vacancies for Resident Magistrates via an advertisement on April 14, 2023, and received information the process was done in an opaque manner.

"Our Client has been following up on the same with into and has since received credible information that the selection process was done in an opaque and clandestine manner. However, he does not have confidence in the said allegations," read the letter in part.

The lawyers in the letter requested JSC to furnish them with a comprehensive list of all applicants and that of all the short-listed applicants to the advertised position.

They noted that the commission has proceeded to call up short-listed applicants for interviews without any notice to the public communicating the same.

"We invite the commission's secretariat to refute these claims by making public information relating to this particular selection process," continued the letter dated July 27 and sent via mail to Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.

Lawyer Kipkoech said that JSC is yet to respond to the letter.

Kipkoech noted that JSC by refusing to respond to his letter, "revealed is an obscene recruitment bureau that has no regard for the Constitution".

"The result notwithstanding the fact that those recruitment are competent is shrouded in secrecy and suspect," Kipkoech said.
The lawyer said JSC had advertised for 60 positions and 70 recruited, adding that the public was not allowed to give their views.

"The whole process is opaque, clandestine," said Kipkoech.

Kipkoech said it is about time JSC chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome, is assessed on efficiency and effectiveness outside recruitment of officers and spending.

Efforts to reach the Chief Registrar for a comment failed to bear fruits as she did not respond to calls or text messages.