Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior has now stated that Attorney General Kihara Kariuki should be held accountable for his role in former President Uhuru Kenyatta's refusal to appoint six judges. In June 2021, Uhuru appointed 34 of the judges but left out the six judges citing integrity issues. In October 2021 soon after the High Court ordered Uhuru to appoint the remaining judges within 14 days, Kariuki appealed the judgment.
According to the governor, despite a court order directing the President to swear in the judges, the AG challenged their appointment."The AG should be worried. He challenged the appointment of Judges despite clear court orders and his position as a member of JSC. His actions on this matter should not be left unattended," Kilonzo said.
President William Ruto appointed the six judges shortly after being sworn in as Kenya's fifth President on Tuesday. They are the Environment Court's Evans Makori and Judith Omange, as well as appellate judges Weldon Korir, George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule, and Joel Ngugi. Ruto stated that they would be sworn in on Wednesday at State House in Nairobi."Tomorrow, I shall preside over their swearing-in so that they can get on with the business of serving Kenyans," Ruto said.
The judges were among 40 others who were nominated in 2019 following a rigorous vetting process conducted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) between July and August of that year. Uhuru appointed 34 judges in June 2021, but six were omitted due to integrity concerns. Kariuki filed an appeal in October 2021, shortly after the High Court ordered Uhuru to appoint the remaining judges within 14 days. The AG expressed his displeasure with the court order issued by justices James Wakiaga, William Musyoka, and George Dulu. In their decision, the three-judge bench stated that the President can be bypassed in the process of appointing judges. The Court of Appeal temporarily suspended their order on October 1, 2021.
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