Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, on Tuesday, wrote a hard-hitting letter to President Kenyatta, criticizing his move to leave out six judges from appointment.
In the open letter, Mutunga was critical of President Kenyatta’s continued disregard of the law, stating that if one did not understand the law, they had business holding said office.
“Nothing in the oath says, “I will obey and protect only the aspects of the Constitution that I find self-fulfilling and convenient; so help me God'” Mutunga said in his letter.
Clear constitutional provisions
He then went ahead and faulted the President’s decision to leave out six judges for the appointment, terming the move as one that undermined the rule of law.
“The President, by dint of plain, clear provisions by the Constitution, and numerous court orders, has an obligation to appoint all the recommended judges without hesitation, review or negotiation,” Mutunga said in the letter.
“It is disappointing that this standoff, occasioned needlessly by presidential obduracy, has recurred. Sadly, it has done so in a manner that lowers the esteem of the office, undermines the rule of the law and erodes public confidence both in the elevated majesty of statecraft, and in granularity in administration of justice.”
Mutunga said that the President met with JSC in 2015 when the issue first emerged. The entities agreed that the President would share a report on any adverse reports on the candidates at that time and not later.
Thus, Mutunga said, the President’s declaration that the six judges did not meet the required threshold was pettiness and was consumed by personal vendetta rather than the national good.
Thus, he called on the President to make the six appointments without exception, as that was what the constitution called for.
“It is urgent that the President appoints immediately the six judges, many of whom are exceptional, because that is what fairness, common decency, the rule of law and Constitution requires,” Mutunga said, “The accountability and independence of the judiciary is not negotiable.”
MR. PRESIDENT, IN THE NAME OF THE CONSTITUTION, SIMPLY SWEAR IN THE SIX JUDGES.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/zksQkoNdSe
— Dr Willy M Mutunga, Chief Justice, Kenya (2011-16) (@WMutunga) June 8, 2021