7 Highlights from Murgor's Clash With JSC Panel

  • Senior Counsel Philip Murgor appearing for the CJ interviews on Friday, April 16, 2021.
    Senior Counsel Philip Murgor appearing for the CJ interviews on Friday, April 16, 2021.
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  • Senior Counsel Philip Murgor on Friday, April 16, appeared before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to be interviewed for the position of Chief Justice.

    Some of his responses during the interview sparked debate online with one instance that caught the attention of many was when he stated that 1. he would be fine if he was not appointed Chief Justice and that he was only out to serve the country.

    "I will not do anything to get this job. It is not a job that I need to have. It is just that I want to offer my services to the public," he told the panel.

    Senior Counsel Philip Murgor during the interviews for CJ on Friday, April 16, 2021.
    Senior Counsel Philip Murgor during the interviews for CJ position on Friday, April 16, 2021.
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    2. Clash with DCJ Philomena Mwilu

    It also appeared like there was seemingly underlying tension between Murgor and Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu

    Earlier, Murgor had tried to have Mwilu barred from being part of the interview panel claiming bias, a request which was denied by the JSC.

    At one point during the interview, the acting CJ sought answers specific to her questions prompting  Murgor to defended himself from the interruptions. 

    "Madam, I will answer your question in the way I see fit," he replied upon the DCJ asking him to clarify on an answer.

    At one moment, Murgor, who is a former Director of Public Prosecution did not understand the question presented to him by Mwilu and went on to express his confusion.

    "I do not get the question. I am not even sure that you are with the question yourself," Murgor stated at which point Mwilu responded," I understand the question because I am the one who structured the question."

    DCJ Philomena Mwilu during the interviews for CJ on Friday, April 16, 2021.
    DCJ Philomena Mwilu during the interviews for CJ on Friday, April 16, 2021.
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    3. Questioning from Judge Warsame

    Murgor declined to give his views on specific topics addressed by the panel. Judge Warsame asked him for his opinion on what he would do if Parliament impeached him.

    "How can I tell you how I will rule? You might make me the Chief Justice. How can I tell you how I would have ruled in advance?" he responded.

    In a light interaction, Judge Warsame referred to Murgor as a criminal lawyer to which he corrected " l practice criminal law. I am not a criminal lawyer."

    Justice Warsame during the interviews for CJ on Friday, April 16, 2021.
    Justice Warsame during the interviews for CJ on Friday, April 16, 2021.
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    4. Judge David Majanja Referring to History

    Judge David Majanja questioned the Senior Counsel on a case he had prosecuted in 1990 where the victim claimed to have been tortured.

    Murgor responded that he was a professional and was only doing his job as a prosecutor.

    "A man is his history and we shall judge you accordingly. Thank you," Judge Majanja stated.

    Judge David Majanja during the CJ interviews on Friday, April 16, 2021.
    Judge David Majanja during the CJ interviews on Friday, April 16, 2021.
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    5. Faulting JSC for not backing former CJ Maraga

    The Senior Counsel also took a shot at the JSC commissioners questioning where they were when former Chief Justice David Maraga addressed the media alone on the issue of 41 judges.

    During the interview, Murgor stated that Maraga should not have been alone on the steps of the Supreme Court when he addressed the President on the matter.

    Instead, Murgor said, Maraga should have been surrounded by his fellow JSC commissioners.

    6. Addressing Nelson Havi's Complaint

    Murgor also addressed a complaint by LSK president Nelson Havi which he stated had no merits.

    "This complaint is from Nelson Havi, he has no information nor understanding of what happened. All that he was trying to do was to try and embarrass me," he stated.

    LSK President Nelson Havi speaking a forum in 2019
    LSK President Nelson Havi speaking a forum in 2019
    File

    7. Praising Judge Martha Koome

    At the end of the interview he even acknowledged fellow applicant Judge Martha Koome would make a good chief justice adding that the panel had conducted the interviews in a patient and professional manner.

    Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 14

    Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 14
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