Uhuru Responds to Critics on Rejection of Judges

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the commissioning of the first berth at the new Lamu Port
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the commissioning of the first berth at the new Lamu Port.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, June 4, responded to critics who faulted him for cherry-picking judges recommended to him by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

    In his speech while swearing in the 34 judges at State House, the president assured that he would always choose what is right rather than what was convenient.

    "Just like you today, I too, took an oath to both and it is not open to me to turn a blind eye to reports of our state organs.

    "As long as I serve as president, I will choose the right over the convenience, I will choose the hard over the easy and I am not doing this for myself but for the people of Kenya," the president stated.

    The president urged the newly sworn in judges to serve the people of Kenya with unfailing integrity and commitment.

    "That your actions and decisions be guided slowly on unbiased and faithful application of the constitution and our written law and principles and values as a nation and the overriding interest of justice," he added.

    He advised the judges to serve with dedication, following the oath that they had subscribed to.

    A total of 41 judges had been recommended by the JSC to the president for appointment. Unfortunately, one died before he could be appointed and six others were rejected.

    The rejected judges included; Weldon Korir, Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga and Prof. Joel Ngugi, Makori Evans Kiago and Judith Omange Cheruiyot.

    Justice (Prof) Joel Ngugi and his counterpart George Odunga, were part of a five judge bench that ruled the BBI Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 as null and void.

    Following the rejection, the president had faced heavy condemnation from the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association and the Law Society of Kenya.

    They indicated that the president was interfering with the Institutional Independence of the JSC and the violation of the constitution.

    "The President is setting a very bad precedent for this country, one of not following the rule of law and disobedience of court orders. It is against this background that KMJA calls upon the President to immediately gazette the six that were left out," a statement by the association reads in part.

    The 5-judge bench which declared BBI as null and void, on Thursday, May 13, 2021