Chief Justice Martha Koome has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint the six judges that he had rejected from a list of 40 judges who were nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Koome on Friday, June 11, 2021 insisted that all persons nominated by the Judicial Service Commission be appointed in accordance with Kenyan law.
The Kenya’s first female Chief Justice spoke during the swearing in of Judge Daniel Musinga as President of the Court of Appeal.
“As we welcome our 7 new justices at the court of appeal, this is a bitter sweet moment for the 4 colleagues not with us.” Koome said.
“I reiterate my position as CJ & Chair of JSC to state that all persons recommended by JSC must be appointed as judges,” she added.
The Chief Justice also said that she is aware of the difficulties the Judiciary is encountering, particularly with reduced capacity.
According to CJ Koome, the Appellate Court, which has a capacity of 30 Judges, currently has only thirteen Judges, who will soon begin sitting in court of Appeal stations outside of Nairobi.
At the same time, she seized the opportunity to defend
the independence of the Judiciary, which she claims is under threat of capture
by private and public sector players.
She insisted that in order for independence to be fully realized, the third arm of government must be adequately funded.
“Judicial independence will remain an illusion if we don’t have our own funding,” Koome stated.
She urged all judicial officers to
perform their duties diligently and to maintain their independence.
“The attacks on the Judiciary are not new, but it requires every judicial officer to safeguard their judicial independence,” She noted.