Judicial Service Commission is at war with Chief Justice David Maraga in what they claim that the CJ is intentionally blocking plans to pick his successor.
JSC commissioner Macharia Njeru has issued a statement in which he accuses justice Maraga of taking part in a plot scuttle his succession.
Njeru says that in September, the JSC agreed to ensure a smooth succession and appointed a committee to lead the process.
He further claims that subsequent meetings resolved to start the recruitment process and that the chief justice, his deputy and justice Warsame opposed the recruitment during a meeting on September 30, 2020.
Commissioner Njeru adds that a meeting scheduled for Friday, October 16 and meant to reach consensus was scuttled by the Chief Justice on Thursday evening.
“After lengthy deliberations of over three hours, the Chief Justice asked for an adjournment to October 16 (today) to allow for consensus other than a vote to decide the crucial process,” Njeru said.
But the CJ on Thursday sent the commission a WhatsApp message unilaterally cancelling the meeting.
Njeru said the commissions’ protests against the meeting’s cancellation have fallen on deaf ears.
“It is clear that the Chief Justice with a few others are hellbent on derailing the process of his successor, leaving the Judiciary in a crisis of leadership,” he said in a statement.
Njeru said it will not be surprising if someone would seek a court injunction against the JSC with aim of derailing the process.
The LSK representative assured Kenyans that they will ensure full transparency in the process.
“We are determined to expeditiously deliver a Chief Justice with absolute integrity and one whom the public will have confidence in,” he said.
Njeru warned that the failure to do so would ‘be unmitigated disaster and unforgivable’.
“Critical business that affects the country should never be managed in secrecy and with ulterior motives. We occupy our positions as trustees and do not drive personal agenda,” the commissioner said.
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He reported that JSC on September 16 resolved to appoint a sub-committee to chart a roadmap for recruiting the CJ and transitional arrangements.
It comprised JSC vice chair Mercy Deche; Mohammed Warsame; David Majanja; Elizabeth Ominde; and Njeru.
It recommended to the full commission the immediate commencement of the recruitment of the next CJ, including advertising for the post.
This was on the understanding that the process is lengthy and that the actual appointment would be done after Maraga leaves office.
Maraga is unwelcome in the corridors of power following his protracted feud with the Executive — and lately MPs — after he recommended the dissolution of Parliament for not implementing the two-thirds gender rule.
The commission is comprised of Maraga who is the chairperson, Mwilu, judges Warsame and David Majanja, Attorney General Paul Kihara magistrate Emily Ominde, Prof Olive Mugenda, Deche, Njeru, Felix Kiptarus and Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.