The former Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga has written a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta asking him to appoint the 6 nominees he recently left out of the judges’ appointment.
This comes barely a week after the president presided other the swearing-in of the 34 judges that were recommended by the Judicial Service Commission at State House.
Uhuru presiding over the swearing-in of the 34 newly appointed judges. PHOTO/PSCU
Mutunga pointed out that working constitutional mechanisms are available for raising issues against a sitting judge or judicial official at any level.
“The constitution is clear on the mechanisms for raising any issue the president or any other person may have against a sitting judge or judicial officer at whatever level. JSC has been tested on these issues and has dealt openly and fairly with complaints against judges of ranks even higher than the Court of Appeal. Even Chief Justices, myself included, have had to answer to public petitions in an open and fair process and that is as it should be,” the letter read.
The former CJ advised the president against allowing himself to get caught up in pettiness fueled by individuals with scores to settle at the detriment of the nation and constitutional democracy.
“The president must resist the temptation to be garlanded in the pettiness of performing power, particularly by those who have built a thriving pettiness cottage industry, completely consumed by the pursuit of personal vendetta, at the expense of the national good and Kenya’s fledging constitutional democracy.” The letter read in part.
Uhuru Kenyatta and Willy Mutunga. PHOTO/COURTESY
Mutunga who said he was speaking in the interest of the public and for the honour of statesmanship said that the president conducted himself in a manner that he considered being beneath the dignity of the high office he holds.
“The president’s conduct in this matter has been beneath the dignity of that high office. For two years he has subjected several advocates to untold personal suffering for no reason at all, and called into question the integrity of serving judges and judicial officers without any due process,” the letter continued.
Mutunga noted that Uhuru’s decision to reject the 6 nominees from the judicial appointment was disturbing. He suggested that the objection of the judges seems to have been driven by personal vendetta rather than principle.
“Most disturbing is the president’s decision to omit the names of six judges and judicial officers from the list. Strikingly, the presidential ‘list of hate’ has even mysteriously changed, meaning that the objection to the judges’ nomination is driven more by personal pique rather than principle.”
In his letter, Mutunga reminded the president of his burden of history to do the right thing for the constitution of this country.
"Mr. President, you bear a burden of history to do the right thing for Kenya's Constitution, her institutions and the general public. Discharge this burden: Simply do the right thing." Said Mutunga.
He encouraged Uhuru to resign should he find it unfit to continue being in office.
"Resignation and early voluntary retirement are readily available options that the Constitution merrily provides, in order to protect itself from individuals who may find further fidelity to its edicts, a burdensome enterprise," he added.
Mutunga joins the list of people who have asked the president to consider appointing the 6 nominees as judges.