10 shortlisted for Chief Justice post

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has shortlisted 10 people, among them five judges, for the position of Chief Justice to replace Mr David Maraga who retired in January.

In an announcement, the JSC dropped three applicants from the list of 13 people who had applied for the position at the deadline on February 9.

The 10 candidates who were shortlisted after their documents were scrutinised include President of the Court of Appeal William Ouko, Court of Appeal Judge Martha Koome, High Court Judge Said Chitembwe and Employment and Labour Relations Judges Mathews Nduma Nderi and Njagi Marete.

Others are Senior Counsel Philip Murgor, Fred Ngatia and Patricia Mbote. Others are Prof Wekesa Moni and Alice Yano.

Those who were dropped are Prof Mare Otinga, Mr Otondi Ontweka and Mr Brian Ombongi Matagaro.

The interviews are set to begin on April 4 and end on April 23 and the JSC has invited Kenyans to forward any information concerning the candidates, which could assist the Commission to pick the suitable candidate.

In the recruitment, the JSC must ensure that not more than two-thirds of the members are of the same gender. The commission is also required to observe the principle of regional and ethnic balance as the Constitution calls for equality, equity and ethnic and regional balancing in all public appointments.

For the post of Supreme Court judge, to replace Justice Jackton Ojwang who retired in February last year, the JSC shortlisted all the nine candidates who applied for the position. The interviews for the position will start on April 26 and end on April 30.

Two candidates will be appearing before the commission each day, with one  to be interviewed in the morning and other in the afternoon.

Those who applied to join the apex court include Justice Ouko and his Court of Appeal colleagues Koome, Kathurima M’Inoti, High Court judges Joseph Sergon and Chitembwe, Prof Lumumba Nyaberi, Ms Yano and Justices Marete and Nderi.

The Commission will also communicate to the applicants’ referees and former employers who will be asked to comment on the applicants’ candidature.

The Chief Justice is the head of the Judiciary, the President of the Supreme Court, the chairperson of the JSC and the link between the Judiciary and other arms of the government.

The JSC Act provides for the transparent recruitment of judges including the Chief Justice: That the JSC shall constitute a selection panel consisting of at least five members. The function of the selection panel shall be to shortlist persons for nomination by the commission.

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