Ex-CJ Mutunga revolts against President Kenyatta for failing to appoint judges

President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House

By The Weekly Vision Team

There appears to be no end to the wave of revolt in the corridors of justice against President Uhuru Kenyatta over 6 judges he left out in recent appointments in the judiciary.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, with barely a year left before he leaves office, finds himself buffeted from all corners with zero support from allies or even party associates. The Kenya judiciary made history when the then chief justice David Maraga nullified the presidential elections in 2017 against president Uhuru through a landmark ruling; it was the first such ruling in Africa for an incumbent president.

In 2013, then Chief Justice Willy Mutunga dismissed a presidential petition filed by opposition leader Raila Odinga of CORD

But during an earlier presidential petition in 2013, then chief justice Willy Mutunga dismissed a presidential petition filed by opposition leader Raila Odinga of CORD.  As the country waited with bated breath following proceedings in Live TV, Mutunga’s bench threw out Raila’s petition dismissing it on all grounds in a three-minute ruling that shocked opposition leaders and supporters to the core.

EX CJ Willy Mutunga’s letter

Mr Odinga then said he would “abide” by the decision but did not “agree” with it as nearly half the country wondered at how tones of evidence given in 10 days of lengthy hearing could snowball into a three-minute ruling. This time however Mutunga appears to have re-discovered his civil society voice” against impunity and has through a letter addressed to the head of state urged him to ‘follow the constitution”. Dr Mutunga told the president in a letter that the “judiciary’s independence is not negotiable”, strong words from soft and submissive CJ as many described him then during his tenure.

Mutunga now wants Uhuru to clear all the 41 judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to join various courts, among them the Court of Appeal. “JSC has been tested on these issues and has dealt openly and fairly with complaints against judges of ranks even higher than the Court of Appeal,” part of Mutunga’s letter read.

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