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High Court clears hurdle for Uhuru’s JSC nominees

Former Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda, former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei and former Clerk of the National Assembly Patrick Gichohi will be sworn-in as members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

This follows a ruling issued by High Court judge Enoch Chacha Mwita on Friday regarding the swearing-in and gazettement of the three as JSC members.

“Having given due consideration to this case, the Constitution and precedent, l agree to the extent that only Mr Gichohi did not require approval by the National Assembly and that Parliament was wrong to vet as well as approve him,” ruled Justice Mwita.

On March 9 this year, Justice Mwita temporarily suspended the swearing-in and gazettement of the three after Katiba Institute, a lobby, sought to invalidate their nomination, vetting and approval following their appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

However, the judge has cleared the appointment of Ms Mugenda and Mr Koskei, ruling that “there was no violation of the Constitution. I am also unable to find constitutional invalidity of the JSC Act.”

The judge said that there is no requirement for approval of Mr Gichohi as a nominee of the Public Service Commission (PSC), hence, his vetting made no legal effect.

re for identifying a nominee of PSC to JSC.

He pointed out that, indeed, the law requires transparency and accountability in public affairs as well as public participation in such appointments.

And in regard to nomination of Prof Mugenda and Mr Koskei, the judge said it was purely a discretion of the President.

Justice Mwita ruled there was no inconsistency in the manner in which the two were appointed to represent the public in the JSC.

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