There is more than just issues of conduct in the recent incessant petitions that has dogged a number of Supreme Court Judges.
It has since emerged that the crux of the matter is the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 . With Uhuru set to leave office at the end of his last term and with the Supreme Court President Justice David Maraga also set to retire before 2022- things are thick. Two other judges are set to retire with him.
The other three are battling vicious petitions that could lead to their ouster. Team handshake, team kitaeleweka and team tanga tanga are all battling to influence the composition of the Supreme Court, arguing the unfolding events are calculated to trigger the reconstitution of the court that handles presidential election petitions.
Observers argue that political rivals would want to have majority of the judges on their side should a presidential election petition be filed after the 2022 poll. There are even reports that the highest court in the land might be used to lock out some contenders on basis of eligibility.
For instance, former Jubilee Party chairman, David Murathe, has vowed to fight to the Supreme Court to block the candidature of Deputy President William Ruto. Already, sources close to the CJ Maraga have intimated that he may decide to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, former CJ Willy Mutunga, and leave at least one year before his retirement age to give the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) enough time to recruit his successor.
Dr Mutunga was supposed to retire in June 2017 but exited office in June 2016. Then, JSC moved to avoid a vacuum and nominated Maraga in September 2016. Justice Jackton Ojwang and Justice Mohamed Ibrahim maybe facing serious petitions but they are up for retirement anyway.
Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndungu also have their fates in the hands of the JSC. Deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu is fighting prosecution in a criminal case, accusing the Director of Public Prosecutions of seeking to oust her from the Supreme Court.
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