CJ Koome's hand in the rejection of 6 Judges - Nelson Havi

Uhuru's last minute addition of judges in the rejected list has termed suspicious.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presiding over the swearing in ceremony for Chief Justice Martha Koome at State House

Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi has claimed that Chief Justice Martha Koome was consulted by President Uhuru Kenyatta before the gazettement of 34 judges who were appointed on Thursday, June 3.

Speaking in an interview with KTN’s Sophia Wanuna on the same evening, Havi also condemned President Kenyatta’s decision to leave out six judges from the list of appointees.

“There is always a problem with the decisions President Kenyatta makes. A few weeks ago we said what will determine the legacy of the Chief Justice will substantially be the manner which she relates with the Executive," the lawyer spoke.

The LSK president recalled that in her interview, CJ Koome indicated that she would open room for negotiations with the Executive in so far as court orders are concerned.

Havi criticised that whereas Chief Justice emeritus David Maraga insisted on the appointment of all 40 judges, a compromise seems to have been made by the current office holder.

“I say this with a lot of authority because there is no way the president would have gazetted the judges without consultations with the Chief Justice.

"Chief Justice Martha Koome has weakened the Judiciary by conceding to the rejection by Uhuru Kenyatta of four judges and two magistrates," the LSK president accused.

He added that the High Court had already pronounced itself on the matter, ruling that all the judges should be gazetted.

During the same interview, former Judicial Service Vice Chair Mercy Deche who was involved in the process said that President Kenyatta had altered the list of judges who had initially be flagged by the Executive.

She explained that in its initial communication, the Executive had forwarded a list of judges who were deemed to have tainted pasts, but on June 3, new additions were made to the list.

There was a list of persons who were supposed to have adverse reports that were unsubstantiated. When I compare that list that I recall and the ones that have been gazetted, I see changes. There are some names that have been added through a process which to me is as clear as mud.

“It was just a list with a one liner; ‘We have adverse reports against the following’ but when the commission asked what for details surrounding those adverse reports, the authority said that they had discharged their mandate and stopped it at that,” she said.

President Kenyatta has received criticism for rejecting the appointment of six judges including George Odunga and Joel Ngugi who were on the 5-judge bench that nullified the Building Bridges Initiative constitution amendment process.

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