After months of sitting on the names, President Uhuru Kenyatta has come out to blatantly say will not to gazette the 41 judges picked by Judicial Service Commission.
He defended his decision saying he had received adverse reports on some of them. The President argues it would be irresponsible on his part to appoint the judges who enjoy the security of tenure given the integrity concerns and reveals he will ask relevant authorities to take “legal and administrative” action.
JSC nominated the 41 individuals for appointment as judges of Appeal, Lands and Employment court four month ago. However, the President went quiet after the names were forwarded to him, prompting a court case by a lawyer who wants the High Court to compel the Head of State to make the appointments.
Yesterday, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua filed an affidavit on behalf of the President in response to the suit, in which he revealed the integrity concerns against some of the nominees.
In the affidavit, the President questions why JSC never considered this adverse information against the unnamed applicants for the jobs in the bench.
“The President received adverse reports in respect to some of the persons recommended for appointments as judges after the names of the said judges were published in the media. The President believes that the Judicial Service Commission ought to have considered the information while arriving its recommendation,” the reply reads.
He argues that the President intends to return the names to JSC for a review and it if it is not done, he will seek the court’s help.
“I am aware that the recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission may be subject to review by either the court or Judicial Service Commission in appropriate cases. Consequently, it would be remiss for the President to appoint judges without contemplating on the impact to the principles of good governance, integrity, accountability, public participation, and sustainable development,” the reply by Kinyua also read.
JSC nominated 11 judges for the Court of Appeal- Justices Francis Tuiyot, Weldon Korir, Mbogholi Msagha, Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga, Joel Ngugi, Hellen Omondi, Pauline Nyamweya, Jessie Lesiit, Mumbi Ngugi and Kibaya Laibuta.
JSC also recommended 10 names for the Labour Court and 20 others for Lands Court.
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