Kenyan Church rejects Mutunga, Baraza

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16- Church Leaders on Monday rejected the nomination of Dr Willy Mutunga and Nancy Baraza as the country’s next Chief Justice and deputy Chief Justice, saying their characters are in conflict with Christian values and beliefs.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues in Nairobi, National Council of Churches of Kenya Secretary General Peter Karanja argued that the two positions should be taken up by people who would help build a stable nation.

Canon Karanja said that Kenyans should remain cautious on the integrity and philosophy of persons appointed to head the Judiciary.

“They must be people Kenyans can trust to expend their energies in building a just and prosperous nation that is not bedeviled by social strife and immorality,” he said. “The Chief Justice and the deputy Chief Justice must be persons who, by their credibility, elicit the confidence and trust of all Kenyans.”

The Church leaders also called on President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the National Assembly to scrutinise the nominees and confirm whether or not concerns raised about their characters deserved merit.

Dr Mutunga and Ms Baraza were chosen by the Judicial Service Commission on Friday, as the persons who best qualified for the positions. Their nominations have raised mixed reactions from Kenyans across the board with some applauding them and others raising questions.

“We therefore ask the President and Prime Minister to do their due diligence and find out whether the issues being raised by Kenyans with regard to the nominees forwarded require their intervention; because they know what we are saying,” said Canon Karanja.

Although the leaders declined to take any questions from journalists they noted that the nomination process had been credible. They also renewed their position on the Constitution saying it had loopholes which could corrupt Christian values.

“Just go and report that Church leaders have expressed their reservations to these nominees because personalities are involved and this is not a matter to be sensationalised; it’s a matter for Kenyans to look at keenly,” he said. 

Meanwhile the office of the Ombudsman has called on Kenyans who may have issues with the judicial nomination process to approach the courts for a judicial review.

Executive Director Kenneth Mwige explained that Section 9 (1) (c) of the First Schedule to the Judicial Service Act 2011 invited members of the public to convey in writing any information of interest, regarding the applicants to the commission.

“Consequently, any person complaining after the fact, and having neglected, failed or refused to avail themselves of the opportunity to inform the JSC in advance of interviews, stands on shaky legal and Constitutional ground, but is not, of course, precluded from approaching the Court,” he said through a statement.

He further noted that concerns raised about the character of the individuals could only be taken up by Parliament. He added that the National Assembly now bore the responsibility of righting any mistakes that could have been committed during the nomination process.

“Once Parliament approves the JSC’s nominees, it will be a long shot, statutorily and constitutionally, to establish infringement of an individual fundamental right or freedom against the sovereign will of the people expressed through recommendation by the JSC and approval by the National Assembly,” he explained.

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  • Dan

    “Woe to you Lawyers”
    In Luke 11:45-52, Jesus rebuked the lawyers of his day for poor leadership and judgement for harming the people of innocent God. These lawyers were the scribes, thought to be experts in the law. Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui is demonstrating his incapacity to jurisprudence. There is no Law that requires JSC to present multiple choice lists to the Principles. The government legal advisor is a member of the panel. NCC should first wait and see the reaction of the principles. According to me JSC acted prudently to save time and for the common good of mwananchi since the two principles could hardly agree comfortably on the names. For the sake of peace and harmony, let us wait and see the reaction of the President and the PM. The Churches were against the current constitution, now to come up as champions of the new law is total nonsense, madness and hypocrites of the highest order. Jesus Christ!

  • mimi

    Yes in society, looks come first. If you were walking down the street and you notice someone wearing torn clothes, or talking to oneself,or something on those lines, we as a people form first perceptions about them. So, Dr. Mutunga\’s external looks have given him these perceptions. People are right to question his looks and orientation, for they will influence on how he will rule on the bench. If he is GAY ( and I am not saying that he is), then he will go against the Christian doctrine of marriage. So its highly likely that he will be influenced by his orientation to allow certain moral and social behaviour that are probably of his orientaion into law. Again, Kenya is predominantly christian. We need to know facts like where his standing is in relation to things like Abortion, gays and lesbianism, or homosexuality, women\’s issues, children\’s issues, and the like. He has to be scrutinized. Now that aside, I think these JSC guys should have forwarded atleast 2-3 names on each category so that the president and his PM could talk about and pick one of their choice who will take care of their interests, jusy like American presidents do. By nominating only one candidate on each category, its leaves the president and the PM with nothing to discuss about. The question is can they say NO to these choices? If they cannot say NO, then what is the purpose of forwarding the names to them? Just forward the names to parliament to approve or disapprove! Here I can only say that the JSC performed a shody job. Thats my take.

  • Abdallahjei.

    #The Church lost credibility when they voted against the New Constitution. So they\’re not telling us anything new. Churches, either change with time or time will change you, the later the better. What is shaping Kenya Now is the Katiba Mpya, \’embrace or perish!\’. CLOSED CHAPTER.

  • johnstone okwachi

    I just want to tell rev karanja that which contitution is he using now is not the one the church rejected fully?,the church has the devine intervention power spitually and the goverment has its admistration of power and policy making,thhe should thank the goverment which they rejected there policy of new constitution and still they still go on to insult the proccess of implimating the new order of the a citizen now i know what kind of lawyers we employ and why judiciary has been failiure of a decate in kenya history,some have been upsconders of duty ,some deliberately denying kenyans justice becouse they cannot be tuoched.

  • marx

    whats wrong with liberals and open minded people who wear whatever they want? religion is a personal issue,and the so perceived ‘Christian morality’should not be be forced on others who do not care about it,as long as he does everything within the law.

  • Ejeay

    @ Mimi, Neither You nor NCCK and their Secretary Karanja has a basis on enforcing ur believes to others. The JSC is NOT and WAS NOT Obligated to Send more than One Name for each position to the Principals..And Whether Dr. Mutuga is Gay or Not Those are No grounds to Deny Him Employment as stipulated in the Constitution. He will be bound by the Law not by his Stud..He thinks with his Brain Not his stud. The Church Should Not be dictating their Believes to Kenyans. All Kenyans are NOT Christians. There are A lot of us who Don’t Give a Rats Ass what the Church think. Deal with it and Move on!


    Who care so if the JSC chooses A muslim mtakataa kwa sababu they \”conflict with Christian values and beliefs.\”

  • zachary

    A better argument for the church would be to say the JSC denied some applicants due process of law when they focused too much on their personal lives and yet ignored the same for other candidates. Also argue JSC has denied the President discretion by submitting only one name in contravention of the Constitution. That would be a sure winner. Arguing that someone\’s dress, garment (including adornments) or sexual orientation is disqualifying is a sure loser. Our constitution protects all persons including those whose religions conflict with ours.

  • horace

    Sooner or later we will come to terms with the fact that the Constitution of Kenya protects minorities including those of different religious or sexual orientation. Who better to write such an opinion than Chief Justice Mutunga? Dr. Willy has not said he will favor gays over straight, the agnostic over the religious, the poor over the rich. So why all the fuss? He is qualified to be the CJ. His garments are irrelevant to the job. Perhaps some are for the first time scared that a legal mind that cuts like a knife and that will not spare the rod on the rotten has arrived at the court.

  • Maingi Gathitu

    The opposition to the nominees will definitely increase and kenyans should prepare for an avalanche of court cases, applications and public meetings. Lawyers on-hire will line the court corridors seeking instructions from the highest bidder. Masters of impunity will bankroll public and funeral meetings of total strangers all over kenya. The reason for all this heightened activities has nothing to do with morality or a single earstud. The reason is that one Dr. Willy Mutunga stands to fossilise the masters of impunity into some museum pieces. If it\’s about an earstud, Canon Karanja, Ruto and their retinue of sidekicks should reject the precense and prayers conducted by the Maasai laibon who wears an array of earrings and trinklets on both ears in Parliament.

  • Knowledge and wisdom are different..Swiss

    Do this guys know what is democracy????????? Next time they\’re gonna say if you are a non believer, you are not eligible to any public job(((

  • Jo

    ….. pot calling kettle black?

  • mambo

    offside one more time pls beware.

  • AndareJim

    The Church, should seek Musevi’s advice, afterall, they can only baptize and convert and nothing beyond that, I mean the church should simply keep off the politics. Halleluyah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rick Wayadi

    Why are some insinuating that Dr. Mutunga is of a certain sexual orientation? This just goes to show how twisted your dirty minds are. Think; there is obviously a dress code for the Office of the Chief Justice, which Mutunga, if endorsed by Parliament, will have to comply with. This issue of the man putting on studs is neither here nor there. Just imagine what positive change the guy and his deputy nominee will bring to our Judiciary!

  • Davot

    Oops the earing wht does it stand 4

  • Willy

    Spiritual matters r spiritually discerned. Holders of public offices expected 2 steer reforms must b above reproach

  • elijah andika

    Mutunga claims the earing touches deeply on his spiritual faith. Spiritual life!? Spiritual life!!!!! May God save this country from engelic demons.

  • kiugu s.m

    public appointment should not be dictated by church doctrines. appointment should be based on the constitution

  • samwel ndahi

    The positions were given to qualified persons who have a record of fighting for reforms in Kenya.DrMutunga has suffered under the compromised Judiciary that we want reformed.This judiciary has allowed impunity in the last 2 regimes.As such,an outsider is needed to chance it.Other coming nominations including general elections should be won by reform fighters ie Mrs Karua,Raila and Imanyara among others to ensure total overwhole of systems running the goverment.

  • kim

    am greatly embarrassed by church leaders! am a very committed christian i share their concerns but am ashamed of the church leadership! its jovinile, lacking any counsel!!! they leant nothing from referendum! There concerns on the nominees r valid- they will constitutionalise GAY rights! The interviews were done in open the church should av lobbied and presented a memorandum B4 so as to block any possible monination of such people! The same with the constitution issue, they should av lobbied 4 their concerns b4 da final draft! since the departure of musymi they kip on making blunder after blunder!!! They should hire advisers on strategy!

  • betty lelmett

    i have never understood this church leaders ..wanapinga kila kitu.pliz give us a break

  • Anonymous

    The market is reacting to Ocampo Last 3

  • Leonard Opollo

    zitafika Kenya lini?

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