President Kenyatta nominates appeals court judge Warsame to JSC

Justice Mohamed Warsame. He has been nominated by President Kenyatta to the Judicial Service Commission. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Justice and Legal Affairs committee of the National Assembly will vet Court of Appeal judge Mohamed Warsame for appointment to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Justice Warsame’s vetting will be his first despite having been re-elected to the commission and comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta forwarded his name to the MPs Tuesday for consideration.

The committee chaired by Baringo North MP Mr William Cheptumo will have 14 days from yesterday, when House speaker Justin Muturi directed that the committee finds the suitability of the Judge and present its report for either adoption or rejection.

Justice Warsame was re-elected by the Court of Appeal judges to represent them in the commission two weeks ago. He got 16 votes against four for Justice Wanjiru Karanja.

His consideration comes after the committee successfully vetted other nominees to the commission, which is in charge of recruiting judges and magistrates and also takes care of their welfare including those of judiciary employees.

Former National Assembly Clerk Mr Patrick Gichohi (Public Service Commission), former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr Felix Koskei and former Kenyatta University vice chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda were vetted by the committee as representatives of the public following their nomination.

The vetting of the judge will open the window for a similar process of other JSC representatives from the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Magistrates’ Court and High Court.

The 11th parliament did not vet these nominees in what leader of majority in the National Assembly Mr Aden Duale described a serious oversight.

“The Justice and Legal Affairs committee of the 11th parliament has never explained why it never vetted the nominees after their election to the JSC,” Mr Duale said.

Former Ainabkoi MP Mr Samuel Chepkong’a chaired the committee in the last parliament. 

The tenth parliament however, vetted the JSC representatives with then LSK representative Mr Ahmednassir Abdullahi dismissing the MPs’ exercise as having no meaning.

The constitution requires that individuals nominated by various entities to the commission be vetted.