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Kibaki, PM to meet Tuesday on Judicial nominees


Posted by JUDIE KABERIA on May 17, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were due to hold a meeting on Tuesday morning at Harambee House to discuss the nominations for Chief Justice and Deputy CJ.


The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Friday nominated Dr Willy Mutunga for the position of Chief Justice and Nancy Baraza as Deputy Chief Justice.


After deliberation by the two principals, the nominees are to be forwarded to Parliament for approval. 


If cleared, the names will be taken back to the Head of State who will then announce the next Chief Justice and the deputy.


The law requires the President and the Prime Minister to consult before filling the two positions.


The two leaders are also expected to pick the Director of Public Prosecutions among three nominees whose names were forwarded to them on Monday. Those shortlisted for DPP are Keriako Tobiko, his Deputy Dorcas Oduor and lawyer Patrick Kiage.


The International Centre for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) has in the meantime urged the President and the Prime Minister to support the JSC in its pursuit to bring changes that will entirely reform the judiciary.


ICPC Executive Director Ndung\’u Wainaina said he expected the two principals to endorse the choice of Dr Mutunga and Ms Baraza for the positions of the Chief Justice and the deputy.


"We urge the President and the Prime Minister to unwavering support the JSC efforts in reforming and transforming the judiciary as it moves away from its past as an instrument of repression and epicentre of miscarriage of justice to one which stands clearly for the rule of law and the respect of human rights," he said.


He said JSC did transparent and competitive interviews that credited the two nominees as the best candidates.


He further criticised the National Churches Council of Kenya and politicians pointing fingers at the nominees saying the public was already satisfied with the choice.


Meanwhile interviews for the posts of Supreme Court judges will be conducted from June 6 to 14 according to an announcement by the JSC on Tuesday.


Some 25 applicants will be interviewed for the jobs.


Seven Court of Appeal judges who include Justices Philip Waki, Emanuel O\’kubasu, Philip Tunoi, Erastus Githinji, Riagal Omolo, Alnashir Visram and Joseph Nyamu are among the candidates.


Women upped their game with 10 of them having applied for the Supreme Court positions, but Ms Baraza has already been nominated to deputise the Chief Justice.


On Friday, JSC acting chairperson Prof Christine Mango said 56 people had applied to be part of the seven-member Supreme Court, which will be presided over by the Chief Justice and his deputy.


Some of the candidates who will be interviewed appeared before the JSC to be grilled for the position of Chief Justice and Deputy CJ.


They include lady Justices Kalpana Rawal and Mary Ang’awa who have also been shortlisted for the highest court in the land.


Other notable candidates for the post are Justices Muga Apondi, Hannah Okwengu and Martha Koome. Lawyers Njoki Ndung’u and Dr Smokin Wanjala also made it to the list.


The JSC once has again invited members of the public to write their views and questions about the 25 candidates.



Court okays June 8 Budget

Posted by ROB JILLO on June 7, 2011

 NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – The High Court has given Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta the green light to deliver his 2011/2012 Budget Speech after dismissing a case filed to block it.

Justice Jeanne Gacheche gave Mr Kenyatta the go ahead to read the Sh1.15 trillion Budget on Wednesday after dismissing the application by activist Ndung\’u Wainaina as \’premature.\’

Mr Wainaina had sued Mr Kenyatta for breaching the Constitution by failing to submit the estimates to Parliament 60 days before the end of the financial year.

Mr Wainaina has sued Mr Kenyatta alongside the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Attorney General for contravening the Constitution by failing to submit to the National Assembly estimates of Revenue and Expenditure as required by the Constitution two months to the end of the current Financial Year.

Mr Wainaina said failure by Mr Kenyatta to submit the Estimates had denied him his constitutional right to contribute to the budget making process of.

The Executive Director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict had also sought orders to compel Mr Kenyatta to immediately submit budgetary estimates for the financial year commencing July 2011 to the National Assembly.

Chapter Five, Article 22, of the Constitution indicates that the Finance Ministry should submit the estimates two months before the actual budget reading.

Two weeks ago, the Charles Nyachae-led Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution said the responsibility to correct the delayed submission of budgetary estimates lay squarely with the Finance Minister and it was up to him to provide a way forward on the matter.

Last week Mr Kenyatta downplayed the current row over his intention to present the country\’s Budget and termed it "just a formality."

While addressing journalists in Nairobi on Thursday, he explained that the Budget was ready and had been presented to the Parliamentary Budget Committee for perusal.

The 2011/2012 Budget, which stands at Sh1.155 trillion, will go towards youth empowerment, infrastructure, food security, the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons as well as next year\’s elections," revealed the Minister.

"June 8 still stands. If the Speaker wants to rule against it, there is no issue. And whether I stand on the floor of the House to read a Budget or not read a Budget… the Budget is here; you can begin its interrogation," he quipped.

Mr Kenyatta in his defence over the delay said the country should understand that the Constitution implementation was a gradual process and estimates were not ready on time, adding that full compliance  would be met in subsequent budgets.

He also said that the June 8 date was reached after consultation with other East African Community members.