KENYA: ALL SET FOR NEW CHIEF JUSTICE, AS VETTING EXERCISE CONCLUDES

The Focus now shifts to the 11 member Judicial Service Commission that is set to decide who will become Kenya’s country’s next Chief Justice, after a vigorous vetting exercise that saw 12 applicants interviewed.

Supreme Court Judge Professor Jackton Ojwang who appeared before the Judicial Service Commission Thursday was put to task over the contents of his book that appear to advocate for a single party system.

Having spent decades of his career in classrooms and corridors of justice, Prof. Ojwang’ was put to task to explain contents of books he has authored, some touching on multiparty democracy.

When questioned about his book that appeared to be against multi-party system in early 1990s, Justice Ojwang denied being an apologist of the KANU regime.

He argued that the writings were based on an open and unrestricted mind about issues then anchored on existing literature and had nothing to prevent the society against embracing the multiparty system.

Justice Ojwang was also put to task to explain if he had vested interests in the contested 2013 Presidential election petition following the appointment of his wife Professor Colleta Akinyi Suda as the Principal Secretary, State Department of Higher Education.

Commissioner Aggrey Muchelule sought to know whether the appointment had a link with the 2013 presidential petition.

However, the justice told the panel that his wife’s appointment was based on merit and not any kind of favors. The Judge further stated that his wife never contested in any political seat in the 2013 general elections having abandoned her political interest just before the nomination stage in a dominant party in Migori County.

Among the 12 candidates who have been interviewed for the position of Chief Justice are Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala, Judge Msagha Mbogholi, Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera and Makau Mutua. Others are Lady Justice Roselyne Nambuye and Lucy Wanja Julius.

The JSC has only one week – beginning Friday – to replace Dr. Willy Mutunga who retired in June. The search for Deputy Chief Justice starts on Sept 26

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK