LSK denies CJ Willy Mutunga’s ouster attempts

LSK denies CJ Willy Mutunga's ouster attempts

The Law Society of Kenya (LSk) has disowned the ongoing signature collection by its Mombasa branch seeking the removal of Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga from office over allegations of marginalizing the coast region.

LSK chair Erick Mutua, who was speaking at the sidelines of a Judges conference in Mombasa, said the move risks destabilizing the justice system as it is unprocedural and unconstitutional.

The exercise of collecting signatures from lawyers as well as members of the public in Mombasa has been running for the last four weeks with an aim of ejecting the CJ from office.

The initiative, being spearheaded by Mombasa LSK branch, aims at collecting one thousand signatures of people who are disatisfied with the Chief Justice over claims that the Judicial Service Commission, which he heads, has marginalized the area.

“Some of our most experienced Judges were transferred, if the Chief Justice truly had a challenge with man power, there is a better way of handling it,” said Erick Nyongesa an LSK member in Mombasa

But the LSK boss Eric Mutua disagrees, terming the move to have the CJ and the Judicial Service Commission removed as futile and baseless constitutionally.

We have not been approached in a formal manner as the head office as regards this branch in Mombasa. As far as I am concentered it is not the right way to do it. To petition to want to remove JSC and the CJ,  you must have concrete ground to bring out the allegations,” said Mutua.

Mutua was speaking during this year’s conference for the judges, an opportunity for the judicial officers to review their conduct and service.

Early this week, Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga warned the judicial officers of rising corruption saying they might have to be vetted once again to cleanse the justice system, a point Mutua concurs with.

“We know that and I have just listened to the presentations, it appears that after promulgation of constitution, the cases of corruption were not very high but the rate appears to have gone up 2013/14,” said Mutua.

The Mombasa signature collection is the first attempt to have Dr. Mutunga removed from office ahead of expiry of his term in June 2017, even though he has indicated he might leave office late next year.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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