Ever since Martha Koome’s Tuesday announcement as the Judicial Service Commission nominee for the position of Chief Justice, her home has been a buzz of activity from family and friends jubilating over the good news.
However, as the ecstasy begins to wear off, there are beginning to emerge, certain realities that await her from two ends; in Parliament, and, ironically, from her own backyard, the Courts.
Interestingly, the opening salvo hasn’t been fired from a camp hostile to president Kenyatta as had been feared. Instead, it has actually come from a member of parliament in a party allied to the president.
The MP raised concerns over issues of regional balance, claiming that the appointment of Martha Koome as Chief Justice would make representation in all the arms of the government heavily skewed in favour of the Mount Kenya region.
“It is not acceptable that all the three arms of government are led by people from one region,” said Lugari MP Ayub Savula.
Sabula is from the ANC party, allied to Uhuru’s Jubilee.
Five other MPs and three senators also raised similar concerns but did not want to be quoted, saying they will raise their issues when Koome appears before the house committee.
Another battlefront that is already looking like a legally potent landmine is the issue of releasing a complete list of performance.
The JSC is under pressure to release the criteria and individual scores of all 10 candidates interviewed for the position.
Already, the Katiba Institute and legal scholar Makau Mutua have moved to court to compel the JSC to make public the scores of the interviewed candidates. They also want to know exactly what criteria were used and to see the minutes of meetings about the interviews to ensure transparency.
In what has seemed to foreshadow a legal showdown, JSC presiding chairperson Olive Mugenda on Tuesday said they were not bound to release the individual performance of the interviewees but to name the next CJ to succeed former CJ David Maraga.
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