President Uhuru Kenyatta Bows To Pressure, Appoint Judges

President Uhuru Kenyatta finally appointed 34 judges out of 41 recommended by Judicial Service Commission (JSC)-the judges’ and Magistrates’ employer in 2019.

Nairobi’s based lawyer Adrian Kamotho had gone to court seeking a court order to compel President Kenyatta to appoint the judges. The barrister argued that the hiring delay would derail access to justice by Kenyans. The President had stayed put despite court orders directing him to appoint the judges.

In its ruling, Kenya’s High Court said that President Kenyatta does not have the power to reject or review a list of nominees presented to him by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta

Emeritus Chief Justice David Maraga, several times while still in office, accused the President of failing to appoint the judges and disobeying the court orders.

However, in the gazette notice dated June 3, President Kenyatta appointed seven Court of Appeal Judges, nine judges in the employment and labour relations court and 18 in the environment and land court.

The Court of Appeal Judges are Mbogholi Msagha, Omondi Hellen, Ngugi Grace, Francis Tuiyott, Pauline Nyaboke, Jessie Lesiit and Kibaya Laibuta.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge include Baari Christine Noontatua, Gakeri Jacob Kariuki, Keli Jemima Wanza, Mwaure Ann Ngibuini, Matanga Bernard Odongo Manani, Rutto Stella Chemtai, Kebira Ocharo, Kitiku Agnes Mueni-Nzei, and Nderitu David Njagi.

Those of the environment and land court are Gicheru Maxwell Nduiga, Mogeni Ann Jacqueline Akhalemesi, Ongarora Fred Nyagaka, Christopher Kyania Nzili, Mugo David Mwangi, Omollo Lynette Achieng’, Washe Emmanuel Mutwana, Nyukuri Annet, Murigi Theresa Wairimu, and Asati Esther. 

Others are Mboya Oguttu Joseph, Naikuni Lucas Leperes, Mwanyale Michael Ngolo, Addraya Edda Dena, Kimani Lilian Gathoni, Kamau Joseph Mugo, Wabwoto Karoph Edward, and Koross Anne Yatich Kipingor.

The President rejected six names for not meeting the threshold for the appointment, and their names were returned to the commission.

One judge recommended by JCS had died.

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