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Kenya

Make criteria for shortlisting CJ applicants public, lawyers demand

LSK Chairman Isaac Okero told Capital FM News this was necessary to end speculation, after big names were knocked off the initial stage of vetting the 14 applicants for the top Judiciary post/FILE

LSK Chairman Isaac Okero told Capital FM News this was necessary to end speculation, after big names were knocked off the initial stage of vetting the 14 applicants for the top Judiciary post/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has written to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) asking it to make public the criteria used in shortlisting applicants for the position of Chief Justice.

LSK President Isaac Okero told Capital FM News that doing so will end speculation after big names were knocked off the initial stage of vetting the 14 applicants for the top Judiciary post.

He pointed out that the whole process of choosing the Chief Justice must be transparent in order for the public to have confidence in the Judiciary, which he describes as a crucial Arm of the Government.

“It is very important for the integrity of the process to be above board and it is for this reason that the reasons used to knock off the candidates need to be made public,” he said.

The shortlisting process has drawn speculation over its integrity, since previous applicants for the position were all interviewed before being knocked out.

Among those who failed to be shortlisted are Supreme Court Judge Jackton Ojwang who commands of a wealth of experience.

“The JSC needs to give us the reasons why they did not shortlist some of those candidates. As you are aware, there is a lot of speculation on this issue and it needs to be clarified,” Okero stated.

The LSK President further pointed out that the issue is drawing a lot of public interest and the JSC must act in a transparent manner so that confidence in the Judiciary is maintained.

The JSC shortlisted six applicants for the position; Justices Alnashir Visram, Smokin Wanjala, Roselyne Nambuye, David Maraga, Mbogholi Msagha and former Law Society Chairman Nzamba Kitonga.

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Outspoken US-based lawyer Makau Mutua and former Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Aaron Ringera were some of the big names that failed to make the shortlist.

Others thrown out are David Waihiga, Isaac Rutenberg, Lucy Wanja, Kongani Udoto and Daniel Wambura.

Fourteen candidates had applied for the position of Chief Justice with only two women, Justice Nambuye and Lawyer Wanja.

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