JSC asks President Kenyatta to appoint Judge Warsame


Court of Appeal Judge Mohammed Warsame. PHOTO| COURTESY
Court of Appeal Judge Mohammed Warsame. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to officially appoint Court of Appeal judge Mohamed Warsame as commissioner to the powerful organ.

Warsame’s appointment has stalled following a battle between the three arms of government concerning whether he should first be vetted by parliament before official appointment.

The JSC members spoke as four new commissioners were sworn in on Thursday, and with the stroke of Chief Justice David Maraga’s pen, the number of commissioners rose from six to 10.

For close to seven months, the commission had conducted its business with the minimum number for a quorum, a situation that left no room for any member to miss a sitting. JSC has been transacting business with six commissioners instead of 11.

The six have been Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Justice Aggrey Muchelule, Law Society of Kenya representatives Tom Ojienda and Mercy Deche and Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde.

“The 11th member has been identified and that is Justice Mohamed Warsame but he is yet to be appointed… Our appeal is that the same be done because we are not able to operate at optimum when we have one member left,” says JSC Vice-Chair Mercy Deche.

The appointments of the Prof. Olive Mugenda, Patrick Gichohi and former CS Felix Koskei and that of Court of Appeal judge Mohamed Warsame to the JSC had been held up for months by the push-and-pull involving the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive, nearly paralysing operations of the commission and the Judiciary.

President Kenyatta nominated Prof. Mugenda, Koskei and Gichohi on February 13, 2018 while Court of Appeal judges re-elected Justice Warsame for a second term in March.

But their grand match to the Supreme Court buildings failed to materialize as the three arms of government flexed muscles in the battle to control the JSC.

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Story By Enock Sikolia
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