President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally appointed thirty-four (34) judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Through a gazette notice dated 3rd June 2021, President Kenyatta said he is appointing 34 out of the 41 judges, meaning that he is rejecting the names of six judges in the list.
Among those left out in the President’s appointment include Judges George Odunga, Weldon Korir, Joel Ngugi and Aggrey Muchelule.
Msagha Mbogholi, Omondi Hellen Amollo, Ngugi Grace Mbumbi, Francis Tuiyott, Nyamweya Pauline Nyaboke, Lessit Jessie, and Kibaya Imaana Laibuta have been appointed as the Court of Appeal judges.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court has also benefitted from the latest appointment. Justices Baari Christine Noontatua, Gakeri Jacob Kariuki, Keli Jemima Wanza, Mwaure Ann Ngibuini, Matanga Bernard Odongo Manani, Rutto Stella Chemtai, Kebira Ocharo, Kitiki Agnes Mueni-Nzei, and Nderitu David Njagi have been deployed to the court.
The Environment and Land Court received the lion’s share of the appointments, receiving 18 judges. They include; Mboya Joseph, Naikuni Lucas Leperes, Mwanyale Michael Ngolo, Addraya Edda Dena, Kimani Lilian Gathoni, Wabwoto Karoph, Ann Yatich Kipingor, Gicheru Nduiga, Mogeni Jacqueline, Christopher Kyania Nzili, Mugo David, Omollo Lynette, Washe Emmanuel, Nyukur Annet, Murigi Theresa Wairimu, and Asati Esther.
The appointment of the 41 judges has been a long feud pitting the Executive and the Judiciary, with retired Chief Justice David Maraga on numerous occasions castigating President Uhuru over failure to appoint them.
At one point, Maraga said that the President’s decision was tantamount to taking Kenya back to the old days when the Judiciary was just but a branch of the Executive.
“The history of Judiciary subservience is well documented by legal historians and government experts. This judicial subservience has serious implications for individual liberty, human rights of citizens, shared prosperity and economic development of the country,” Maraga said.
Back then, Maraga was against the President cherry-picking from the list of nominees. He warned that this will be a breach of the independence of the Judiciary as one of the three arms of Government. He advised the President to present his reservations regarding the integrity of the nominated judges to the JSC for investigations.