, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – The implementation of the new Constitution got a boost with the swearing into office members of the reconstituted Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) and the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA).
The two commissions began work immediately with the mandate of carrying far reaching reforms in the justice system and resource allocation respectively.
The revamped JSC will be critical on the hiring of the country’s new Chief Justice and recruitment of new judges. Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo challenged the team to immediately embark on the reforms including the search for a new Chief Justice.
“This office we are in (Chief Justice) by virtue of the new Constitution should be filled almost immediately,” said Mr Kilonzo.
“You should be guided by competitiveness and transparent process of appointment. Any vacancy should be filled transparently and by involving the public and ensuring that anyone interested applies in broad daylight.”
The inclusive Commission members include Judges Riaga Omollo and Isaac Lenaola, Magistrate Emily Ominde and Public Service Commission Chairman Titus Gatere.
Others are Law Society of Kenya representatives Ahmednassir Abdillahi and Florence Mwangangi and public representatives Christine Mango and Bishop Anthony Muheria.
Justice Gicheru who is the interim Chair of the commission welcomed the new team and pledged the support of the Judiciary.
“I wish you well and assure you that we will work together,” he said adding “don’t hesitate to knock on my door anytime.”
The term of the current CJ ends in February 27 and a new one shall be appointed according to the new Constitution.
LSK Chairman Ken Akide who was at the ceremony exuded joy at the setting up of a revamped Commission.
“We are looking up to you to help us recreate the Judiciary,” he said.
The Commission for Revenue Allocation has been sworn into office and is to start its work immediately.
CRA Commissioners led by Chairman Micah Cheserem also took an oath of office before Chief Justice Evan Gicheru and pledged to do their work diligently. The former Central Bank Governor took time to assure that there will be no clash with the Treasury since their roles are well defined in the new Constitution.
“The media is saying there will be a clash but there cannot be. We are both serving the same people and the Permanent Secretary at the Treasury is one of our members,” he said.
Also present, Constitutional Affairs Minister urged the commission to ensure accountability and public participation.
“You must involve the public. You must also formulate a financial system that promotes an equitable society and at all times ensure that public money is used up prudently.
The Commission is critical as it will be the key link between the national government and county governments in terms of equitable distribution of resources. It will recommend the allocation of collected revenue between the two governments and ensure that at least 15 percent is allocated to the County government.