Big names in Willy Mutunga, Kalpana Rawal succession battle
Fourteen candidates among them legals scholar Makau Mutua and Philip Nzamba Kitonga, former anti-corruption boss Justice (Rtd.) Aaron Ringera and Starthmore University don Isaac Rutenberg have expressed interest in replacing Dr. Willy Mutunga as Chief Justice.
Supreme Court Judges Prof. Jackton Ojwang and Smokin Wanjala have also put in their applications with hopes of succeeding Mutunga, who opted for an early retirement.
Justices Alnashir Visram, Roselyne N. Nambuye, Mbogholi Msagha, David Maraga, and lawyers David Mwaure Waihiga, Lucy Wanja Julius, Daniel Wambura, and Kenya School of Law student Kongani Udoto Kongani Paul Andrew have also applied for the Chief Justice post.
Fifteen candidates have also expressed interests to replace Kalpana Rawal as deputy Chief Justice after she was forced to retire from the Judiciary upon achieving the age of 70 years.
Among those listed for the post include former Fida chair person Joyce Miguda, justices Agnes Murgor, Fatuma Sichale, Pauline Nyamweya, Martha Koome, Hannah Okwengu, Abida Ali Aroni, Philomena Mwilu, Wanjiru Karanja, Lydia Achode, and Roselyne N. Nambuye.
Former President Mwai Kibaki’s one time lawyer Pamela Mwikali Tutui, Eco Bank non-executive director Surinder Kapila, and lawyers Judith Wanjala and David Mwaure Waihiga have also applied for the deputy CJ’s post.
In a statement, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) said the deadline for receiving the applications for the position of the Chief Justice was at 5.00pm July 8th, for the positions of Deputy Chief Justice and Supreme Court Judge, applications closed on 6th July 2016 at 5.00pm.
“As at 5.00pm July 6th, 2016, the Commission had received 15 applications for the position of the Deputy Chief Justice and 20 for the Supreme Court Judge position. As at 5.00pm Friday (July 8th 2016), the Commission received 14 applications for the position of the Chief Justice,” read the statement.
The position of the Judge of the Supreme Court has attracted 21 applicants including Justices Martha Koome, Agnes Murgor, Wanjiru Karanja, Philomena Mwilu, Roselyne N. Nambuye, Fatuma Sichale, Mbogholi Msagha, Pauline Nyamweya, Alnashir Visram, Isaac Lenaola, Joseph Kiplangat Sergon, Erastus Githinji, Luka Kimaru and law practioners Judith Wanjala, David Mwaure Waihiga, Kevin Faustine O. Mare, John Chebii Kipkoech, Pamela Mwikali Tutui, Kibaya Imaana Laibuta, Isaac Rutenberg and Joyce Miguda Majiwa
According to the statement, the JSC will convene on 11th July 2016 to open the applications.
The Commission will review applications for completeness and conformity with the necessary requirements within 14 days.
“Within 21 days of the initial review conduct reference checks in an effort to review, verify and supplement information provided by applicants. The Commission will also communicate to all of the applicants’ referees and former employers who shall be asked to comment on the applicant’s candidature under the criteria set out in the law,” read the statement.
Although the Commission has 30 days to conduct the reference checks, the background investigations and verification may continue until the time the Commission votes on its nominees for the respective positions.
“The reference checks will be done in accordance with the Constitutional and statutory requirements. The Commission also will consider the extent to which the information provided is relevant to the applicant’s candidature. The Commission will issue a further press release announcing the names of the applicants, the shortlisted candidates and the dates for conducting the interviews,” read the statement.
The commission will allow for public participation in the recruitment process and will invite any member of the public to avail, in writing, any information of interest to the Commission in relation to any of the applicants.
“The JSC wishes to reiterate that in recruiting the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Supreme Court Judge, the Commission will be strictly guided by constitutional principles and best practices, and shall conduct the exercise in a fair, just and transparent manner,” read the statement signed by the JSC Acting Chair Professor Margaret Kobia.