Court of Appeal suspends orders barring CJ recruitment, Supreme Court judge interviews
Published on: April 27, 2021 12:56 (EAT)
The Court of Appeal has suspended orders issued by the High Court barring the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from conducting deliberations on the next Chief Justice as well as interviews for judge of the Supreme Court. High Court judges Anthony Mrima, Reuben Nyakundi and Wilfrida Okwany had issued the temporary orders last week pending the hearing of a petition filed by four petitioners. “The orders granted by the high court last week barring the continuation of the recruitment and appointment of the chief justice is hereby stayed pending the hearing of this intended appeal, any further hearing of the high court proceedings is also,” ruled the Court of Appeal on Tuesday. One of the petitioners argues that Prof. Olive Mugenda was illegally elected as the interim vice chairperson for the JSC. Through lawyer Danstan Omari, the petitioner further argues that the interviews are ‘strangely’ being chaired by Prof. Mugenda who is only a commissioner at the JSC. He says is not clear why the interviews are being chaired by Prof. Mugenda in open defiance and insubordination of the constitutional and statutory dictates which demand that the JSC’s affairs be either be chaired by the CJ and/or deputy. They also argue that “the failure by the candidates to provide their wealth declaration forms and those of their spouses yet they were shortlisted for interview and have since been interviewed for the prestigious position of the Chief Justice of Kenya is not only a waste of the taxpayers’ money but is also a serious dereliction of the respondent’s constitutional and statutory duty,” court papers read. The JSC interviewed 10 candidates for the Chief Justice position. They are Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, Prof. Patricia Mbote, Philip Murgor, Lawyer Fredrick Ngatia, Lady Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, Justice Matthews Nduma Nderi, Justice William Ouko, Prof. Moni Wekesa and Ms. Alice Yano.