Search for next Chief Justice kicks off

Search for next Chief Justice kicks off

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will Monday, August 29 begin interviews to fill the post of Chief Justice following the retirement of Dr Willy Mutunga on June 16. But even as the exercise kicks off, a petitioner has moved to court seeking to block its first candidate, Court of Appeal Judge Alnashir Visram over a Ksh 14.2 million land case.

The JSC, however, through its chair Prof. Margaret Kobia, says all petitions were dealt with.

Concerns, however, had emerged over whether there was already a preferred candidate for the job after JSC said it will not only ensure it gets the country a head of Judiciary and President of the Supreme Court, but a Chief Justice who will easily relate with other arms of government.

Justice Visram, currently a Court of Appeal Judge is expected to be the first to face the commission Monday morning, to defend his application to be Kenya’s next Chief Justice.

Next in line will be High Court’s Msagha Mbogholi who will be interviewed on Tuesday, August 30.

His colleague in the High Court, Justice David Maraga, will appear on Wednesday, August 31 while the chair of the Committee of Experts on the Constitution Review, Nzamba Kitonga, will face the JSC panel on September 1.

High Court judge, Lady Justice Roselyn Nambuye, and Supreme Court Judge Dr. Smokin Wanjala will be interviewed on the 2nd and 3rd of September respectively.

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi, told Citizen TV in an earlier interview that the candidates would be informed of what the public had to say about them before the interviews.

The thirteen shortlisted candidates for the post of Deputy Chief Justice will be interviewed from the September 6, as Lady Justices Abida Ali Aroni and Agnes Murgor go up first. Fatuma Sichale and Hannah Okwengu will be in on Wednesday, September 7, Joyce Majiwa and Lydia Achode on Thursday, September 8, followed by Martha Koome and Pamela Tutui on Monday, September 12, Pamela Nyamweya and Philemona Mwitu are slated for Tuesday, September 13 and Roselyne Nambuye, Surinder Kapila and Wanjiru Karanja will finish the DCJ interviews in that order.

The JSC will take a break and resume interviews for Judge of the Supreme Court from September 29 to October 7 with 18 candidates set to appear before it.

After the interviews, JSC will then forward a single name each of candidates for the positions of the CJ and deputy CJ to the president for appointment.

The process has been the subject of heated debate over the commission’s decision not to make public reasons why some of its applicants did not make the cut instead.

The commission said that in the interest of privacy, they were informed through letters upon request.

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Story By Jacque Maribe
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