Former Chief Justice David Maraga has criticized President Uhuru Kenyatta for failing to appoint six of the Judicial Service Commission’s recommended 40 judges.
Maraga told KTN television on Wednesday that he will remember Uhuru as a president who disregarded the rule of law.
According to Maraga, the president’s reluctance to nominate six judges without providing justification was an affront to the rule of law.
During the interview, the former Chief Justice stated that the Head of State’s sole responsibility was to appoint judges and then discuss any issues of integrity with the JSC.
“Article 166 (1b) of the Kenyan law states that the President shall appoint all the Judges in accordance with the recommendations of the JSC subject to the approval by the National Assembly (in the case of the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice. ) ” the former CJ said.
He claimed that, despite the fact that the Head of State had objections shortly after the Judges were proposed for appointment, he still wouldn’t reveal the nature of the integrity concerns.
“These judges have been condemned unheard, in the eyes of the public, these are the corrupt judges the President was talking about,” he said. “The president cannot come and say he has intelligence reports that these people have integrity issues and expect that we take his word for it.”
Whether the president had received intelligence reports or not, according to Maraga, the intelligence services do not have the authority to nominate judges.
“The constitution has not given the intelligence bodies the mandate to appoint to the judges, bring that intelligence report to the JSC, once the recommendations have been made the JSC cannot recall those names,” the former CJ said.
At the same time, the former head of the Judiciary warned that if the current level of impunity continues, Kenya will devolve into a banana republic.
He also praised his predecessor, Willy Mutunga, who had attacked the President in a scathing letter on Tuesday, accusing him of disregarding the law.
According to Maraga, keeping quiet in the face of looming anarchy will be catastrophic to democracy.
During the interview, the ex-CJ stated that he had attempted to meet with the president in order to resolve the schism between the two branches of government, but that his request had been denied.
“I requested the President to call the speakers and myself so that we can see how to deal with administrative matters on the interdependence of the 3 arms of government, the President refused. What was I expected to do?” he posed.
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