‘You’re the guardians of the rule of law’: President Kenyatta tells 34 judges as he presides over swearing-in
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday presided over the swearing-in of the recently gazetted 34 judges at State House, Nairobi, telling them to serve in their new respective offices with dedication.
President Kenyatta, in his address during the over two-hour ceremony, urged the judges to ensure fidelity to the rule of law and to always remember that they are bound by the Constitution.
“I congratulate you, individually and collectively, on your appointments. Indeed as you assume your respective higher offices as judges of the Court of Appeal, the Environment and Land Court, and the Employment and Labour Relations Court, mine is to ask you to serve the people of Kenya with unfailing integrity and commitment,” he said.
“That your actions and decisions be guided slowly on unbiased and faithful application of the Constitution and our written laws, our principles and values as a nation and the overriding interest of justice. Ladies and gentlemen, to serve in a State office is a deeply demanding task, many new burdens will be placed on your shoulders, the public expectations of you will be very high, and obstacles will be thrown along your path.”
He further added: “Having taken your oath of office, know that you now hold a special place in our Constitutional order and therefore my only advice to you is one: serve with dedication and with utmost fidelity to the oath that you have subscribed to. You’re the bastions of justice, defenders of liberty, instruments of law and order, guardians of the rule of law, and the embodiment of the hopes and dreams of our people.”
The swearing-in ceremony was also attended by Chief Justice Martha Koome, President of the Court of Appeal Justice Daniel Musinga and other senior government officials.
The 34 judges who were appointed by the President and eventually sworn in are:
Judges of the Court of Appeal
- Msagha Mbogholi
- Omondi Hellen Amollo
- Mumbi Ngugi
- Francis Tuiyott
- Nyamweya Pauline Nyaboke
- Lesiit Jessie
- Kibaya Imaana Laibuta
Judges of the Employment and Labour Relations Court
- Baari Christine Noontatua
- Gakeri Jacob Kariuki
- Keli Jemima Wanza
- Mwaure Ann Ngibuini
- Matanga Bernard Odongo Manani
- Rutto Stella Chemtai
- Kebira Ocharo
- Kitiku Agnes Mueni-Nzei
- Nderitu David Njagi
Judges of the Environment and Land Court
- Mboya Oguttu Joseph
- Naikuni Lucas Leperes
- Mwanyale Michael Ngolo
- Addraya Edda Dena
- Kimani Lilian Gathoni
- Kamau Joseph Mugo
- Wabwoto Karoph Edward
- Koross Anne Yatich Kipingor
- Gicheru Maxwell Nduiga
- Mogeni Ann Jacqueline Akhalemesi
- Ongarora Fred Nyagaka
- Christopher Kyania Nzili
- Mugo David Mwangi
- Omollo Lynette Achieng’
- Washe Emmanuel Mutwana
- Nyukuri Annet
- Murigi Theresa Wairimu
- Asati Esther
The swearing-in ceremony went on despite criticism directed towards President Kenyatta from a majority of legal quarters over his rejection of the six other nominees.
The Head of State on Thursday appointed the judges who were recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) more than two years ago, but in a shocking twist, appointed 34 and rejected six judges from the 41 who had been nominated.
President Kenyatta declined to appoint Justices Weldon Korir, Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga, Prof. Joel Ngugi, Makori Evans Kiago and Judith Omange Cheruiyot.
Katiba Institute on Friday filed an application contesting the appointment of the 34 judges and omission of six others by the President.
The institute termed the move by President Kenyatta as cherry-picking, saying Article 166( 1) commands him to appoint all judges of superior courts in accordance with the recommendation of the JSC.
The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) as well as the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) also hit out at President Kenyatta for what they termed as selective appointment.