The Judiciary

What Exactly Does President Uhuru Want With The Judiciary?

It is no secret that the President has had a tumultuous relationship with the Judiciary in the past 10 years.

Before being elected as President, he had to fight against a case citing Chapter 6 of the constitution. A group of Civil Society activists went to Court questioning his eligibility to run for office when facing mass murder cases at the ICC. He won narrowly.

Apparent Grudge

After winning the 2013 elections, he has been facing numerous challenges from the Judiciary. About 20 major decisions he made have been reversed.

The biggest reversal was the 2017 Election results….and then came his promise of Revisiting. He made a public threat about “Dealing with Wakora” and seems to have meant every single word.

First, he deliberately delayed in appointing members to the Judicial Service Commission.

Justice Mohamed Warsame and David Majanja had to wait for several months before being appointed to the JSC. Warsame was elected to represent the Court of Appeal, and David Majanja to represent High Court Judges. Both had to wait for five months before being Gazetted.

Read: Lessons From Mwende Mwinzi Dual Citizenship Case

However, the President caused a national uproar when he appointed Macharia Njeru within 48 hours to the JSC while still refusing to appoint the duo. The tribal undertones that followed led to the appointment of the two.

Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdulahi tweeted that Kenya was an Animal Farm where a Camel from North Eastern and a Chicken from Western ranks lower than a Pig from Central. The drama came to an end mid last year.

Never-ending Drama

But bigger drama awaited Kenyans after the JSC went through a rigorous 12-month recruitment process, and submitted names of 41 Judges to be appointed in both the Court of Appeal and High Court.

However, the drama started after Uhuru refused to appoint the Judges. He claims that he “Received credible reports that some Judges were tainted”.

So, we are heading to the 150th Day of the standoff between Uhuru and the JSC. JSC says that the process of dealing with Judges involves presenting a complaint to the JSC, then appointing a tribunal to publicly try the Judge.

Uhuru has done nothing of the sort. Instead, he has remained mum.

A Paralyzed Judiciary

Meanwhile, the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) Union failure by President  Kenyatta to appoint 41 nominated Judicial Service Commission (JSC) members has affected the completion of 372,928 backlog cases.

 According to the Secretary-General Mr. Derrick Kuto, about 400,000 cases are being filed per year against a diminishing number of judges and magistrates.

Read: How the Judiciary plans to solve the case backlog

The backlog as of January 7, 2019, stands at 372,928 cases being handled by 644 judges and magistrates combined.

“By way of example countries like England and Wales with a population of 58 million has 3,210 judges and about 22,000 lay magistrates which explains why the case completion period is shorter,” he said in a statement released last month.

The Big Question

Now the question remains…

  1. How long will the President Hold the country at a standstill?
  2. Why hasn’t he reported any wrongdoing against any of the tainted judges to the JSC
  3. What is the way out?

Raw Politics will continue updating you on this.

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