Corruption, bribery and state capture is said to have hindered the operation of the Judiciary Service Commision we can authoritatively report.
According to an insider, members of the JSC are nolonger independent as they were under the previous CJs but instead have been working in conjuction with some rogue officials close to the CJ who have been effecting transfers of and magistrates and Judges.
The same group according to those aware of the matter was behind the recent formation of the Judges Bench that allowed the punitive finance bill act, transfer of magistrates and now the contraversial of Judges and it’s aim is to place state friendly Judges and Magistrates in all courts within the Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
The JSC is also said to be corrupt and ineffective in it’s operation as it has some rogue commissioners who are still active despite having served their term.
” Justice Warsame’s term is not known when it will end, nobody knows how he was even appointed but Martha Koome has no problem with that,” said an advocate of the high court.
Some commissioners within the commission that is supposed to lead by example have been linked to gold fraud, scamming and illegal Businesses.
The commission has been taking bribe and handpicking Judges and magistrates hence disadvantaging the duly qualified ones.
For instance a Nakuru-based lawyers yesterday wrote a letter wanting the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to reveal details concerning the recent recruitment of 60 magistrates.
Lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich, in a letter to the JSC on behalf of Lawyer Peter Okiro claim the commission declared 60 vacancies for Resident Magistrates via an advertisement on April 14, 2023, and received information the process was done in an opaque manner.
“Our Client has been following up on the same with into and has since received credible information that the selection process was done in an opaque and clandestine manner. However, he does not have confidence in the said allegations,” read the letter in part.
The lawyers in the letter requested JSC to furnish them with a comprehensive list of all applicants and that of all the short-listed applicants to the advertised position.
They noted that the commission has proceeded to call up short-listed applicants for interviews without any notice to the public communicating the same.
“We invite the commission’s secretariat to refute these claims by making public information relating to this particular selection process,” continued the letter dated July 27 and sent via mail to Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.
An NGO had early this year sued the JSC over its opague manner in which it conducted it’s interview for Judges and letter appointed them.
Some unqualified candidates who even underperformed during the interview were appointed.
Sheria Mtaani, Non-governmental organisations moved to court where it accused the JSC of allegedly taking sides, violating the constitution and conducting its activities including interviews in a non-procedural manner.
In a suit filed at the Milimani court through Shadrack Wambui, an advocate of the high court, the NGO has raised several issues which form the basis of its suit.
The matter was filed before Justice Hedwig I Ong’undi who listed it as an urgent matter and allocated it before Justice J.Mugambi.
According to the court papers, the petitioner claims the individuals within the commission are unfit to hold office.
The NGO alleges the commission is usually guided by predetermined events before starting their activities including interviews.
JSC is yet to respond to the petition. The Attorney General has been listed as the second respondent in the case.
The NGO cited the concluded interviews of the high court judges and judges of the court of appeal alongside the interviews of the Chief Justice.
It accused JSC of harassing Honourable judges and magistrates and even unconstitutionally preventing some of them from proceeding to an interview despite shortlisting them.
” This amount to a violation of the constitution and determining the judicial officers,” the petitioner said.
“Additionally, the JSC has failed to interview certain Judges and magistrates citing baseless claims that they are not suited for the position without affording them the opportunity to present their defence. The decision represents a blatant infringement of their rights of a fair hearing provided by article 50 of the Kenyan constitution.”
The suit further claimed the judges who participated in the interview were mistreated.
“The Judges who appeared before the commission were subjected to mistreatment, as the commission unjustly utilized cases from previous Judiciary Proceedings to discredit them disregarding the constitution provisions that grant them immunity, furthermore certain Judges were unjustly excluded from the interview process. It is imperative to recognize that justice cannot be served unless Judges are accorded the very justice they are entrusted to deliver,” it added.
The Petitioner further alleged that the JSC has abused its powers by mistreating individuals who have come before it.
” The responded mistreated interviewee during the interview in the position of the Chief Justice and that is a matter of the public records,” it added.
The JSC is yet to file its response on the matter. The Star commits to publishing JSC’s response once they do so.