Lawyers collect signatures to kick out Kenyan chief justice

Lawyers in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa on Monday began collecting signatures in support of a petition seeking to remove Chief Justice Willy Mutunga from office.
They want Dr Mutunga out for alleged marginalisation of the Mombasa station in posting judges and magistrates.
Led by the Law Society of Kenya Mombasa branch chairman Eric Nyongesa, the lawyers began collecting the signatures shortly before 9am.
Wearing green ribbons as a sign of peace, the group converged at the Mombasa law courts compound where they have set up a desk.
Mr Nyongesa said they intended to collect at least 1,000 signatures from lawyers, ordinary citizens and litigants.
The will set up desks in other parts of Mombasa and the exercise will last for a week, he told Nation.co.ke.
According to the lawyers, the petition to be presented to the Parliamentary Committee on the Administration of Justice shall also seek the dissolution of the Judicial Service Commission.
Should Parliament fail to address their issues adequately, Mr Nyongesa said, they will file a constitutional petition at the High Court seeking the ouster of Dr Mutunga.
He added that should all their options fail, they would hire buses and lead demos to the Supreme Court, where they will stage a sit-in until their concerns are addressed.
The lawyers also took issue with transfers of “experienced” judges to set up High Court stations in areas they feel do not have much workload.
Mr Nyongesa complained that Mombasa has seven judges compared to Nairobi and its environs, which has 62.
In June, the lawyers issued a 14-day ultimatum to the CJ to post additional judges and magistrates to the Mombasa station.