The Judicial Service Commission has termed President Kenyatta’s CJ appointment remarks as “unfortunate”.
President Kenyatta during a visit to Nyamira County last month campaigned for votes, arguing that he had given their son a job. He was referring to the CJ who hails from the region.
Uhuru also noted that Education CS Fred Matiang’i and CBK chairman Mohamed Nyaoga were appointed to top jobs to show that the government has their interests at heart.
Following a meeting by the CJ and JSC, the commission’s secretary Anne Amadi put out a statement calling the Head of State’s comments misleading to the public.
“JSC has had the opportunity to review and evaluate the statement by the Head of State and takes the view that the remarks during the said political meeting could, and had in fact, been misconstrued to imply a political hand in the appointment of the Chief Justice. This is unfortunate, erroneous and substantially misleading.”
“There is neither room nor opportunity for the President to discharge this function in a political manner,” Amadi said.
Article 166 provides strict and limited provisions of the constitutional role of the Head of State on the appointment of the Chief Justice.
“Any implication, deliberate or inadvertent, that the appointment of the CJ was part of a political scheme is a grave distortion of law and fact.”
The secretary went on to reiterate that the Judiciary is independent, which is fundamental to the society.
Chief Justice David Maraga also set the President straight on the CJ appointment remarks following the meeting. He said no political strings were pulled to favour him and that he was not a Jubilee project.
“I have restrained myself from responding to these false statements so as not to give them undue prominence or credence. However, they continue to be claimed and peddled around as if they are the truth, and in total disregard of their corrosive effect on the perception of the independence of the Judiciary,” said Maraga.