, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala says he has never heard of cartels within the institution but should he encounter them during his tenure as Chief Justice, he will deal with them decisively.
While being vetted by the Judicial Service Commission for the CJ’s post on Saturday, Wanjala stated that no one has ever approached him in a bid to influence a decision but emphasized that he would not compromise his oath.
“Are you personally Judge aware of any cartels?” Attorney General Githu Muigai, one of the panelists asked him, to which he replied, “I have heard about it, I have read it in the newspapers but I am not aware of any cartels, I don’t know what type of cartels you are talking about, I have simply performed by duties as a judge and as a member of the Judicial Service Commission.”
He pointed out that the destruction of such cartels within the judiciary will take first priority if he is appointed to the post.
“In my experience, I have never encountered a cartel of whatever nature. If they are there, maybe I shall encounter them later. If I encounter them, Not only will I trigger processes for their disruption, but their destruction because we cannot run an institution of cartels. We must run an institution that carries out its constitutional mandate,” he said, adding “The word cartel in itself is very dangerous. They must be destroyed. They will definitely not be allowed within the judiciary.”
The Supreme Court judge further indicated that his religion as a Catholic would never interfere with his decisions since the constitution remains supreme.
“I am a Catholic but I would not allow my personal beliefs to override the constitution by which the office of a judge is governed by,” he stated.
If appointed CJ, Wanjala said he would establish the International Crimes Division of the High Court expeditiously.
“I think it is an important division which should be established, I think we should not waste too much time consulting. It should no longer be a question of debate as it is important, it is critical,” he said.
When the question on whether Supreme Court judges should be robbed was raised, Justice Wanjala stated that any bench should not be robbed as well as the lawyers appearing before it.
“Speaking for myself, I think that the Supreme Court should not rob at all. I should come and dress the way I want because we do not require that any counsel appearing before us should rob,” he stated.