President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to decline to appoint 41 nominated Judicial Service Commission (JSC) members has affected the operations of the Judiciary, a union argues. 

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According to The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) Union, President Kenyatta should reconsider his decision for the sake of the smooth delivery of service. The union argues that the judiciary is no longer independent after the head of state insisted that some of the nominees had integrity issues. Uhuru also said that the appointment will interfere with the principle of integrity. Through its Secretary-General Derrick Kuto, the union has asked Uhuru to give the judges a green light to assume office as the Judiciary fights to clear case backlog. 

The union lamented that there are more than 400,000 cases being received in courts annually yet there is a shortage of judges. The union has asked the Kenyan government to emulate the developed nation such as Wales and England to ensure the independence of the Judiciary is guaranteed. 

“By way of example countries like England and Wales with a population of 58 million has 3,210 judges and about 22,000 lay magistrates which explains why the case completion period is shorter,” said Kuto, as quoted by Standard.

The call comes barely a fortnight after Chief Justice David Maraga decried interference of the operations of the Judiciary by other arms of the government. Maraga also lamented over the plans to cut the annual budget of the judiciary.