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Legislators accuse Judiciary of interfering with their oversight role

Members of Parliaments adopted a report blocking the appointment of Justice Mohamed Warsame to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo on Tuesday tabled a report protesting High Court orders stopping the committee from vetting Mr Warsame.

Warsame’s name was submitted to the National Assembly by President Uhuru Kenyatta for vetting before he could appoint him to serve in the commission. This was after Court of Appeal judges nominated him for a second time to the commission. The legislators have accused the Judiciary of interfering with their oversight role in what is likely to escalate the differences between the two arms of Government. VALIDLY ELECTED

The adoption of the report comes after JSC ruled that the House committee could not vet Warsame even after extending the 14 days as required by the Public Appointments Act by another two weeks. Tabling the report on Tuesday, Mr Cheptumo said his committee was unable to vet and approve or reject the nominee as required since JSC had filed a suit opposing the vetting. The commission termed the vetting unconstitutional as the judge was validly elected by Court of Appeal judges to represent them and as such, needed no vetting. In a letter, JSC said, “The JSC holds the considered view that the approval of Justice Warsame by Parliament is neither provided for in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 not the Judicial Service Act 2011.”

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