High Court directs Uhuru to appoint six judges he rejected, orders him to pay cost of suit

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 21 Oct, 2021 15:27 | 2 mins read
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on Friday, March 26, 2021. [PHOTO | K24 DIGITAL]
President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/COURTESY
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on Friday, March 26, 2021. [PHOTO | K24 DIGITAL]

The High court has ordered President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint the six Judges he left out in June last year, within 14 days.

A three-judge bench ruled that failure to appoint the six, they will be deemed to be duly appointed and the Chief Justice in conjunction with the Judicial Service Commission will be at liberty to take all the necessary steps to swear them in.

According to Justices William Musyoka, James Wakiaga and George Dulu, the president does not have power to amend the list of judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission.

The judges also ordered the president to pay the cost of the suit saying he was in breach of the constitution and the Judicial Service Commission Act when he failed to appoint the said judges.

“The constitution commands the president to appoint the Judges upon receiving their name and has repeatedly said there is no discretion on his part to select a partial list of names,” ruled the Judges.

The three-judge bench noted that there was obviously a constitutional duty cast on the president to appoint Judges once their names are forwarded to him by JSC and that duty was owed to Kenyans in general as the appointments were meant for the benefit of the people.

The petition had been filed by Katiba Institute challenging the appointment of the partial list of the 41 judges by the president.

It was their argument that selective appointment of judges would undermine the functions and powers of the Judicial Service Commission and the functioning of the judiciary.

The 41 Judges had been interviewed, recruited, and recommended by Judicial Service Commission in July 2019 as judges to the Court of Appeal, the Employment and Labour Relations Court, and the Environment and Land Court.

One of the nominees however died last year in a road accident.

The President had refused to gazette or appoint the recommended judges until June 3 when he appointed 34 judges and rejected six nominees.

Those that were left out are; Justices George Vincent Odunga, Joel Mwaura Ngugi, Weldon Kipyegon Korir, Aggrey Muchelule Otsyula and Magistrates Evans Makori Kiago and Judith Elizabeth Omange Cheruiyot.

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