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Three-judge bench to hear case of six Uhuru left out

 Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed judges James Wakiaga, William Musyoka and George Dulu to hear a case of six judges left out by President Kenyatta when he appointed 34 others to serve in courts.

Chief Justice Martha Koome has appoint three judges to hear a petition over President Uhuru's refusal to appoint six judges to serve in courts. He appoint 34. Photo/FILE

The trio will jointly hear two cases challenging the appointment of the six judges. One case was filed by the Katiba Institute and another by a Nakuru-based doctor Makari Gikenye Benjamin.

Mr Kenyatta’s leaving out of the six has worsened the relations between the Judiciary and Executive.

Two former Chief Justices have appealed to the president to appoint the six to serve in courts. They are Willy Mutunga and David Maraga.

In 2019, the Judicial Service Commission sent out a list of 41 judges to the president for recruitment. One has since passed away.

Two of the judges who were left out by the president were part of the bench which heard the Building Bridges Initiative case and returned a negative judgement to the Handshake team. They are judges Joel Ngugi and George Odunga. Others who were not appointed despite being vetted by the JSC were justices Aggrey Muchelule and Weldon Korir. The remaining two who were vetted and nominated to serve in Environment and Lands Court are judges Judith Omange and Evans Makori.

The Katiba Institute argues that the constitution does not allow the president to tamper with the list of judges recommended by JSC. He only has to appoint them.

Kenyan judiciary is battling huge backlog of cases, shortage of judges and magistrates to hear cases and lack of funds to run its operations.


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