A section of Kenyan lawyers has called out President Uhuru Kenyatta over the bias he displayed in the appointment of 36 new Judges of the High Court.
In the gazette notice dated June 3, 2021, Uhuru announced the appointment of 36 judges out of the 40 that had been recommended by the Judiciary Service Commission.
Among the 4 judges that were kicked out of the appointments are Justice Joel Ngugi and George Odunga, who were in the 5-judge bench that nullified the BBI bill at the High Court.
Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kichumba Murkomen, the lawyers accused Uhuru of settling scores through the gazette notice.
“Congratulations to all the Judges whose appointments have been confirmed after needless&inordinate delay. In a blatant violation of the Constitution the President is using the opportunity to punish Judges he doesn’t like&this is a very dangerous path.He is setting a bad precedent,” wrote Kipchumba Murkomen.
Lawyer Makau Mutua also weighed in on the matter accusing Uhuru for making selective appointments.
“BBI judges Joel Ngugi and George Odunga have been denied elevation to the Court of Appeal. (President) Kenyatta can not choose which provisions of the constitution to obey, or disregard. Gazetted judges should decline their appointment until all JSC-recommended judges are included,” he tweeted.
Other lawyers that weighed into the matter include Ahmednassir Abdulahi. He said Uhuru’s move to handpick judges for promotion is unacceptable.
Lawyer David Makali said on his part observed that Uhuru has no powers to appoint judges selectively or even start vetting afresh nominees presented to him by the Judicial Service Commission.
Constitutionally, Uhuru is supposed to approve all the judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission.
These appointments come two years after the names of the judges were presented to the head of state under the tenure of Former Chief Justice David Maraga.
Other Judges that were left out of President Uhuru’s appointments include;
1. WELDON KORIR
2. AGGREY MUCHELULE
3. EVANS MAKORI
4. ELIZABETH OMANGE