Chief Justice bows to pressure to move controversial judges

by David Karani

Chief Justice David Maraga on Monday announced the transfer of five judges including Chacha Mwita, in what is seen as bowing to pressure from the executive arm of government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Justice Mwita who has been at helm of the Constitutional and Human Rights Division moves to the less glamorous Kajiado High Court, where he will be Presiding Judge.

Justice Weldon Korir will replace Justice Mwita while Mr Reuben Nyakundi will replace Mr Korir and Judge James Aaron Makau will swap places with Justice Okwany.

The Constitutional division of the High Court is one of the crucial ones as it deals matters regarding interpretation and implementation of the bill of rights.

Parties aggrieved by decisions of the government rush to this division and obtain orders, citing infringement or threats of infringement of their rights.

Among persons who have obtained orders stopping their intended trial are Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) commissioner Prof Tom Ojienda.

The transfers which take effect on March 1, 2019 have been criticised by Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi who cautioned that the frequent transfers of judges at the constitutional court by the Chief Justice was suspect and aimed at scuttling the court.

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