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Judge Declines Stop CJ Interviews 

Justice Antony Mrima has declined to issue orders stopping the current Chief Justice interviews.

Justice Mrima in his ruling instead referred the case to the Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu to appoint a three-judge bench to hear and determine the case, to serve as jurisprudence for cases of similar nature.

In a short ruling delivered on Tuesday  in the afternoon, the judge ruled that the case raises substantial issues of law and should be heard by a bench.

In the case, Tolphin Nafula had sued the Judicial Service Commission, challenging Olive Mugenda’s position as the chair of JSC during interviews, submitting that said DCJ Philomena Mwilu should be the person chairing the sessions and not Mugenda.

She said Mugenda was elected as an interim vice chairperson and  was surprised that she  would oversee the interviews.

“This election of Prof Mugenda will thereby relegate the Acting Chief Justice to the status of an ordinary member,” reads court paper submitted by the petitioner.

A nine-member committee of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) chaired by Commissioner Olive Mugenda today begun the hearings that will see ten candidates interviewed for the position of Chief Justice and nine others for the position of Supreme Court Judge.

Justice Said Chitembwe who was the first to appear before the committee said that if appointed CJ, he will constructively engage with President Uhuru Kenyatta to resolve the impasse on the appointment of 41 judges who were not sworn in.

Chitembwe while appearing before the JSC defended a past ruling on a defilement case, saying that when he writes his judgments, he is dealing with problems as a judicial officer independently.

He was categorical that he is the best candidate suited for the job having been in judiciary for 12 years now, and seeing the transitions from when it was difficult to have a pen and foolscap to write on.

Prof Mbote will be interviewed on Tuesday, followed by Justice Koome, Justice Njagi Marete, Mr Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Mr Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Prof Moni Wekesa and Ms Alice Yeno Jepkoech.

The position of the Supreme Court Judge was left vacant following the retirement of Justice Jackton Ojwang who retired in February 2020.

The new Chief Justice will be Kenya’s 15 and third under the 2010 Constitution.

By Alice Gworo 

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