President Uhuru Kenyatta maintains he will not appoint the six nominees whose recommendation for elevation as Court of Appeal and High Court judges he rejected 10 days ago.
Kenyatta says his conscience was clear after receiving adverse reports on the six nominees from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other security agencies.
During a meeting with an Ukambani leaders delegation at State House, Nairobi on Monday the president said he will not budge amid pressure from a cross section of critics to appoint High Court judges Prof. Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule and Weldon Korir to the Court of Appeal, as well as High Court registrar Judith Omange and Chief Magistrate Evans Makori as High Court judges in the Lands and Environment division.
The Head of State reiterated his claim of integrity questions raised against the 6 nominees, in adverse reports submitted by the national spy outfit NIS and other security agencies.
“I too took an oath to both the letter and spirit of the law and it is not open to me to turn a blind eye to reports of our State agencies,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta’s handshake partner, ODM leader Raila Odinga had on Saturday challenged the Head of State and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome to make public, allegations against the 6 nominees.
The president, according to sources at the State House meeting, disclosed that he had furnished former Chief Justice David Maraga with details of allegations against the rejected nominees and a proposal to appoint those who met the integrity threshold.
According to the President, Maraga rejected his proposal and insisted that the Head of State either appoints all the nominees or none. However, Maraga recently claimed there was mischief in the list of rejected nominees.
‘The names have changed…those said to have issues; some have been removed and others added, if the list was genuine, why this shift?” questioned Maraga.
“I am a judge, I don’t want to enter into any controversy, because at the end of the day I should not because I am an adjudicator, and continue to call on the president to appoint the 6 remaining judges,” CJ Martha Koome said.
The pressure to appoint the 6 nominees notwithstanding, Kenyatta told the State House gathering that his conscience would not allow him to endorse the elevation of the rejected nominees. However, critics question why he would reject their nomination, yet they continue to serve as judicial officers.
On matters politics and the 2022 State House succession race, sources told Citizen TV that the president urged Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, his National Super Alliance (NASA) allies and other political leaders to unite even as he defended his March 2018 handshake with Odinga, that fractured his relationship with Deputy President William Ruto.
“I have done much more even than I was able to do even in my first term, because I have been able to focus myself working in conjunction with my colleagues and been able to focus on the development agenda rather than the political agenda…,” said Kenyatta on Monday
Kenyatta will tour Machakos and Makueni counties on June 28, and Kitui County the following day to commission development projects and inspect the ongoing ones, as part of the handshake goodies wish-list submitted by the Ukambani leadership that he hosted at State House, Nairobi.
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