Uasin Gishu Woman Representative, Gladys Shollei, has defended Chief Justice Martha Koome’s decision to proceed with the swearing-in of 34 judges.
Speaking during Citizen TV’s Day Break, Shollei said that Koome was right to get the judges sworn in to sort out the piling cases in Kenya’s High Court.
Judges to help clear case backlog
“The Court of Appeal has not been hearing cases, except under Section 5 of stay orders. There are no cases going on,” Shollei said, “…For the sake of the people of Kenya, it was the right thing for the 34 judges to take the oath of office and rescue the Supreme Court.”
Shollei said that she was grateful that the 34 judges were sworn in. That way, some would move to the Court of Appeal and deal with pending cases. She said that neither Chief Justice Martha Koome nor the 34 judges were at fault for the proceedings on Friday.
Instead, Shollei said that President Kenyatta was the person who had defied Article 166 of the Kenya Constitution. Shollei noted that the President had no responsibility in cherry-picking who became a judge.
“The President’s role (in judge appointment) is Ceremonial,” Shollei said, “The six judges yet to get appointed is at the doorstep of the Head of State. He has not only defied court orders but also the Constitution of Kenya.”
President Kenyatta’s decision to appoint 34 of 40 judges to the High Court on Thursday led to a barrage of criticism against the President. Some also took it out on the Chief Justice, who did not resist the President’s decision to cherry-pick the judges in an unconstitutional move.
However, President Kenyatta defended the move, saying that the six had failed to meet the required threshold for the appointment.
But, Shollei said that if the President had had any problem with the judges, he would have filed a petition to the JSC.