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Why Chief Justice Koome wants Uhuru impeached

According to papers filed in court, Chief Justice Martha Koome has proposed the impeachment of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the remedy for his actions

A colllage image of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice Martha Koome

Chief Justice Martha Koome has written to the Appellate Court, seeking to have President Uhuru Kenyatta impeached.

Papers filed in court indicate that the Chief Justice wants a declaration to be made that the head of state violated the Constitution by failing to appoint six of the 40 judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) three years ago, and the remedy for the violation is an impeachment of the president from office.

CJ Koome has also declined to appoint the six judges as directed by an earlier ruling by the High Court which directed that President Kenyatta to appoint the six judges, failure to which the CJ takes over and proceeds with making the appointments.

In particular, the CJ noted that the President has violated Articles 3(1) and 166(1)(b) of the Constitution and these are sufficient grounds to secure an impeachment.

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"It is proposed that the court makes a declaration that the President... is in violation of Articles 3(1) and 166(1)(b) of the Constitution. A declaration that the appropriate remedy for the violation of Articles 3(1) and 166(1)(b) of the Constitution is impeachment of the President or any other order that secures direct accountability of the President," reads papers filed in court by the CJ.

Articles 3(1) states that: "every person has an obligation to respect, uphold and defend this Constitution" while Article 166(1)(b) states that "the President shall appoint all other judges, in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission."

The president declined to appoint Justices George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule, Prof Joel Ngugi and Weldon Korir to the Court of Appeal on June 04, 2021.

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He also declined to appoint chief magistrate Evans Makori and High Court deputy registrar Judith Omange to be High Court judges as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Explaining his decision to turn down the recommendation for the appointment of the six nominees, President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that they are tainted and cited an adverse National Intelligence Service (NIS) brief.

Even if the appellate court is to grant the CJ her wishes, the proposed impeachment may not see light of day as it is a long process while the head of State has only eight weeks in office remaining and the Parliament has since adjourned indefinitely for the August 9 General Election.

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