The Linda Katiba Institute has moved to court to block the swearing-in of 34 out of 40 judges appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Through lawyer Dudley Ochiel, the Institute argues that President Uhuru did not follow the law to the latter when gazetting the appointments.
They termed Uhuru’s nominations as illegal, and partial swearing in of the Judges would be a violation of the constitution.
“The cherry-picking and selective appointment or swearing-in of judges undermines the functions and powers of the Judicial Service Commission and the Judiciary. It is also an improper extension of the role of the executive and has created a constitutional crisis,” read part of the application seen by Kivumbi.co.ke.
According to the lobby group comprising of former presidential Martha Karua, activist Boniface Mwangi and economist David Ndii, swearing-in of the selected judges would violate the constitution and rights of the 6 judges that were left out of the appointments.
Other than the lobby group, several other legal minds have called on the 34 appointed judges to abscond the swearing-in ceremony to show solidarity with their colleagues whom Uhuru rejected even though they were recommended by the Judicial Service Commission for appointment.
Legally, the president ought to have sworn in all the 40 judges that were presented to him by the JSC in 2019.
Moreso, Uhuru is on the spot for settling scores with the judiciary through selective appointments.
This is because he left out Justice George Odunga and Joel Ngugi, who were part of the bench that ruled against the BBI bill process which is aimed at amending the 2010 Kenyan constitution.
All eyes are now on Chief Justice Martha Koome to see if she would bow to the demands of the executive or shall protest what many have termed as an overreach by the executive arm of government.
“For Chief Justice Emeritus David Maraga it was all 40 Judges or none, a stand supported throughout by LSK. Chief Justice Martha Koome has weakened the Judiciary by conceding to the rejection by Uhuru Kenyatta of four Judges and two Magistrates. No congratulations from me.” tweeted LSK President Nelson Havi.