The decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to approve 34 judges from a possible list of 40 presented to him by the Judicial Service Commission has elicited mixed reactions from the legal fraternity and the public at large.
Kenyatta declined to appoint six judges including Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga, Weldon Korir and Prof Joel Ngugi who were recommended for the Court of Appeal.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally appointed the judges nominated by JSC in 2019.
But he leaves out 6- two of whom rejected the BBI bill he so desperately wants to pass before next year's elections.
Illegal, and STILL raises questions on his respect for Court orders.
— FERDINAND OMONDI (@FerdyOmondi) June 3, 2021
Justice Professor Joel Ngugi and Justice George Odunga, were part of the five-judge bench that stopped BBI reggae.
According to Prof. Makau Mutua, the move to leave out the two should not be taken lightly, asking the 34 to decline the appointment until the other six are included.
BBI judges Joel Ngugi and George Odunga have been denied elevation to the Court of Appeal. Mr. Kenyatta can’t choose which provisions of the CONSTITUTION to OBEY, or DISREGARD. Gazetted judges should DECLINE their appointment until ALL JSC-recommended judges are included. pic.twitter.com/PCHEgPJJr6
— Prof Makau Mutua (@makaumutua) June 3, 2021
Some are of the opinion that by failing to appoint Justices George Odunga and Joel Ngugi, it is a show that the President was appointing those who are “darling” to him.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, on the other hand, termed the exclusion as a gross violation of the Constitution by the President.
“I am not so worried about what Uhuru has done on judicial appointments. His time is running out. I am more worried by the thought that all judicial appointments in the future will depend on the wishes of the president,” stated the former Senate majority leader.
I am not so WORRIED about what Uhuru has done on judicial appointments.His time is running out. I am more WORRIED by the thought that ALL Judicial appointments in the FUTURE will depend on the WISHES of the PRESIDENT. Makes nonsense of Judicial Independence under our Constitution
— KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H (@kipmurkomen) June 3, 2021
The decision could, yet again, invite another constitutional court process presenting a big test for the newly sworn in Chief Justice, Martha Koome, on her road map to mend the judicial executive torn relationship.