Complainants claim 4 CJ nominees unsuitable to hold office

By Bernice Mbugua On Wed, 14 Apr, 2021 08:47 | 2 mins read
Judicial Service Commission
The site where interviews to find the next Chief Justice are being conducted by the Judicial Service Commission. PHOTO | JSC | TWITTER

Three complaints have been filed at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) opposing the candidature of four individuals shortlisted for the position of the Chief Justice.

Petitioners claim Prof Moni Wekesa, Senior Counsels Fred Ngatia, Philip Murgor and Prof Kameri Mbote , are unsuitable to head the Judiciary and the Apex Court.

Kenya Rugby Union, in its memorandum, claim Wekesa, who is set to be interviewed on April 22 would be the wrong choice for the CJ.

According to KRU, Prof Wekesa, who had been appointed to chair the Kenya Anti-Doping Taskforce by then Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario Arero in 2013, had accused the national team of doping.

The union says the taskforce, led by Wekesa, claimed there was systematic doping of players at the national team and two of the clubs through use of food supplements laced with steroids.

His taskforce reported that the food supplements under use by the Kenya Rugby Sevens team were banned substances contravening both World Rugby and KEU Regulations, which caused a public uproar and media scrutiny.

“Prof Wekesa would lead the public attempt, especially media, to justify the report despite KRU’s immediate protestation and challenge the flawed process,” stated KRU’s chairman Oduor Gangla.

In another memorandum, a lobby group, Atheists in Kenya, claim Ngatia is not best suited for the job as he represented President Uhuru Kenyatta in the disputed 2017 presidential petition. According to the lobby group, Ngatia will compromise the independence of the Supreme Court and they lack confidence in his ability to safeguard the rights and freedoms of Kenyans to ensure equal protection for all.

“Senior Counsel Ngatia defended the President’s disputed win in a presidential petition filed by Raila Odinga in 2013 and 2017. It is obvious that his personal interests are likely to be contrary to his loyalty to the Kenyan public as Chief Justice,” argued the Lobby group.

Law Society of Kenya on the other hand, filed a further complaint against Prof Mbote, Annie Gathiru and Murgor.

Through President Nelson Havi, LSK claims that Prof Mbote, Gathiru lacked integrity and would not be suitable for nomination for appointment as Chief Justice for that reason.

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