CJ interviews: Makau Mutua, Katiba Institute want results publicised

Professor Makau Mutua

Professor Makau Mutua is interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission for the position of Chief Justice, at the Supreme Court buildings on September 14, 2016.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Prof Mutua says that in 2016 he applied for the CJ post and was subsequently interviewed but the results were never made available to him.

Kenyan scholar Makau Mutua and the Katiba Institute have petitioned a court to order the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to release the results of the Chief Justice interviews to the public for the sake of transparency.

In the petition filed through lawyer Christine Nkonge, they want certified urgent and heard by a three-judge bench, the two want the JSC to publicise the marks scored by the candidates.

They had wanted the JSC stopped from forwarding the name of the nominee to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment pending the publication of the results.

However, following a favourable court ruling earlier on Tuesday, the commission announced its nomination of Court of Appeal Judge Martha Koome as the Chief Justice to succeed David Maraga.

Mutua's interview

Prof Mutua says that in 2016 he applied for the CJ post and was subsequently interviewed but the results were never made available to him.

On March 4, he wrote to the JSC seeking the information plus the criteria that was used to evaluate qualifications, marking sheets with the grading of applicants and minutes of the commission that discussed the nomination.

In a letter dated March 25,  the commission only provided information on the criteria for evaluation of qualifications and declined to provide any information on the other aspects that he sought. The commission said it was safeguarding privacy of the applicants.

Lawyer Nkonge argues that the JSC's failure to provide the information infringed and violated the values and principles of governance, especially those that relate to participation of the people, integrity, transparency and accountability.

"The information sought is necessary to assert the sovereignty of the people of Kenya in relation to powers vested on the JSC to ensure the decisions are made in a manner that respects constitutional standards, " says the lawyer.

By demanding that the JSC makes the candidates' performance public, she says, public confidence in the organisation will be promostion.

The move will also the decisions reached are not influenced by improper considerations, the lawyer added.

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