NAIROBI, Kenya, June 9 – Former Chief Justice David Maraga Wednesday said he will remember President Uhuru Kenyatta as one who has no regard for the law even as he faulted his selective appointment of judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission.
Maraga, who spoke to KTN on Wednesday, noted that Kenyatta’s action highlights his continued violation of the constitution and has the potential of killing the Judiciary and sinking the country into anarchy.
He said Kenyatta cannot exercise appointing authority on judges clarifying that his role is purely ceremonial.
“The power of adjudicating cases is in Judiciary, the president cannot purport to do that. When it comes to the appointment of judges, his role is ceremonial, that is the black letter of the law,” he said.
He, therefore, noted that the parliament should take steps and impeach the President for gross violation of the Constitution.
“It is the duty of Parliament if the president has violated the law to take steps and remove him, that is the only way you can have order if this act continues, we are descending into a ‘banana republic. This disobedience of court orders is going to grind the country, if the law is enforced, people will respect the law,” he asserted.
On June 3, President Uhuru Kenyatta gazetted 34 out 41 judges nominated by JSC for appointment to superior courts declining the nomination of Justices Aggrey Muchelule, George Odunga, Weldon Korir and Prof Joel Ngugi who were to join the Court of Appeal. No reasons were given.
He questioned his criteria when the Judiciary exercise the same ceremonial law In the swearing in his appointees Attorney General, Inspector General, and several state officers
Article 166 (1b) states that the president “shall appoint all other judges, in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.”
Kenyatta, while witnessing the swearing-in of the new Judges at State House, said his decision not to appoint the six judges was based on intelligence reports.
“Just like the judges, I too took an oath. It is not open to me to turn a blind eye to reports of our State organs. As long as I serve as President, I will choose right over the convenient, choose the hard over the easy. I am not doing this for myself but for the people of Kenya and for posterity,” he said.
Maraga, however, termed as utter violation of law the president’s inclination to ‘intelligence reports’ as opposed to JSC who vetted the judges.
“The constitution has not given the intelligence the power to appoint the judges, he prefers the intelligence as opposed to the JSC, the intelligence views have their place, bring them before the interview is over,” the former CJ said.
He even linked the omission of some judges to the ruling that nullified the Building Bridges Initiative Constitution amendment process
“These judges will have their reputations and careers ruined, I have no reason to disagree that the Justice odunga and Ngugi are taking the blame for the BBI, it is Common knowledge that proponents are not happy with the judgement, you don’t expect them to celebrate the two,” Maraga added.
He further echoed former CJ Willy Mutunga’s statement condemning the move by President Kenyatta saying other Kenyans should be brave and condemn the impunity exercised by the executive which he says may sink the country into anarchy.