President William Ruto has urged newly sworn-in judges of the High of Kenya to serve the country with diligence.
The Head of State asked the judicial officers not to submit to blackmail and intimidation while discharging their duties.
"I have no doubt in my mind that you have what it takes to serve this country with diligence and that you will not submit to blackmail, intimidation or threats from any corner," the President said.
"It is your individual and collective responsibility to ensure that our Judiciary is fair, independent, competent and above all serves with integrity," he added.
The President spoke during the swearing of the 20 new judges appointed to the High Court at State House, Nairobi, on Wednesday, December 7.
The event was attended by Attorney General Justin Muturi, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) among other senior State officers.
Among those sworn in are seven magistrates elevated to the judgeship.
They are former Milimani Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Nthiga Lawrence Mugambi, Macharia Florence Wangari, Kavedza Diana Rachael, Gichohi Patricia Njeri, Mulwa Peter Mutua, Nyaga Heston Mbogo and Odera Teresa Achieng.
The other new judges are Mongare Josephine Wayua Wambua, Chirchir Sophie Chebet, Sifuna Nixon Wanyama, Shariff Mwanaisha Saida, Chigiti John Mugwimi, Mutai Gregory, Wananda John Robert Anuro and Mohochi Samwel Mukira.
Olel Francis Rayola Ochieng Odhiambo, Githiru Freda Mugambi, Magare Dennis Kizito Niwono and Visram Aleem Alnashir also took the oath of office today.
The swearing-in ceremony comes a day after the President formally appointed the 20 judges to the High Court as recommended by JSC.
Last week, JSC indicated that the 20 candidates were picked following a thorough vetting exercise that was finalized on December 1, 2022.
“After lengthy deliberations and careful consideration of the performance of the various candidates and based on the constitutional imperative of merit, gender, regional balance, and affirmative action, the JSC has recommended the appointment of the underlisted to the Office of the Judge of the High Court and has submitted their names to His Excellency the President for appointment,” Chief Justice Martha Koome said in a statement.
Vacancies for the position were advertised on March 31.
The new appointments are part of the judiciary's efforts to reduce a backlog of cases in Kenyan courts.