Chief Justice Martha Koome has held firm that the President must appoint the remaining six High Court judges omitted from the gazette appointment last week.
Speaking during the Swearing-in of Court of Appeal President Daniel Musiga, Koome also warned that the Judiciary was under the threat of capture from individuals she would not name.
Additionally, she termed the moment as bitter-sweet as four other Appellate Court judges meant to be sworn-in were not present for reasons she did not know.
“As we welcome our seven new justices at the Court of Appeal, it is a bitter sweet moment for the four colleagues not with us. I’m a judge and I don’t wish to enter into any controversy but I am duty bound to reiterate this stand and call on President Uhuru to appoint the remaining six judges.” Koome said.
President Uhuru’s decision to appoint 34 of 40 judges to the High Court led to an avalanche of backlash against the Head of State. Former Chief Justices Willy Mutunga, and his successor, David Maraga, criticized the President in no uncertain terms over the move.
Additionally, Koome also addressed the funding shortage in the Judiciary, saying that the Judiciary was operating in a ‘museum.’ This was because courts were in poor states. The lack of proper funding also meant that they could not have the necessary resources to clear the backlog cases.
Koome addressed the Speaker of the National Assembly, Justine Muturi, directly, saying that the Ksh 17 billion given to the Judiciary on yesterday’s budget reading was too little. She said that 26 new courts were almost complete but remained unoccupied as there was no money to complete them.
“If we are to tackle the overload of cases, adopt technology for efficiency, take justice closer to the people and increase the speed of case resolution, then we require funding. We call on parliament and county assembly to fully fund the Judiciary budget.”