Kenya’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has appointed 28 new High Court Judges to help in clearing case backlogs as well as usher in much anticipated reform in the Kenyan judiciary.
“The recruitment of these 28 candidates was done in strict compliance with the provisions of the constitution and the Judicial Service Act,” said Hon. Justice Dr. Willy M. Mutunga, JSC, Chairman and Kenya’s Chief Justice.
Dr Mutunga explained that “during all the facets of the process, the Judicial Service Commission was guided by the constitutional values of transparency, openness, fidelity to the law, and we were alive to our obligations to the people of Kenya.”
He said they picked a rich diversity of candidates as decreed by the constitution and law. Judges of differing gender, ethnicity, county, generation and minority were selected.
“The new judges reflect this diversity,” said Dr Mutunga, adding “we have recruited 14 women, two Kenyans in the foreign and regional diaspora, a Kenyan European, a woman with albinism, 11 serving magistrates and these representatives are also from various counties and nationalities.”
Dr Munga said that the process of recruiting the 28 was a “thorough, intensive, marathon interview process of 115 candidates who applied for the office of High Court judge that lasted eight weeks.”
He termed those who were picked to be “excellent candidates who will serve as judges of the High Court of Kenya. In our views all the candidates have the right credentials that will come in handy in their appointment.”
According to the Chief Justice they did the necessary background check-up on all the candidates, set and then interviewed them on an agreed criteria, and conducted the interview process in an open and transparent manner.
“We invited Kenyans with any negative or positive information on all 115 candidates who applied to come forward,” he further explained. “Kenyans have volunteered useful information. Some Kenyans have also sat and observed the process for themselves. The media covered the process on a day to day basis and we are very grateful about the performance of this national duty by the media.”
The JSC said the 28 were the “best candidates using the various criteria set out by the constitution and the law. We considered academic backgrounds, the professional experience of the candidate, and personal integrity of the candidates.”
Additionally, Dr Mutunga said they “picked the candidates from the magistracy, from practising advocates and lawyers in the public service. This rich mix of background in our view will come in handy during this era of reform in the judiciary.”
The new judges of the High court of Kenya are:
- Prof. Njugi Joel Mwaura
- Ms. Ngugi Grace Mumbi
- Mr. Mutava Joseph Mbulu
- Mr. Muriithi Edward Muthoga
- Ms. Nyamweya Pauline
- Mr. Kimondo George Kanyi
- Mr. Majanja David Amilcar Shikomera
- Mrs. Ghithua Cecilia Wathaiya
- Mrs. Jaden Thuranira Beatrice Nthiori
- Mr. Korir Weldon Kipyegon
- Mrs. Grace Lidembu Nzioka
- Mrs. Meoli Christine Wanjiku
- Mrs. Ong’undi Hedwig Imbosa
- Ms. Mutuku Stella Ngali
- Mr. Wakiaga James
- Mrs. Ougo Rose Wdwina Atieno
- Mr. Ogola Erick Kennedy Okumu
- Mr. Odunga George Vincent
- Mrs. Stella Munai Muketi
- Mr. Havelock Jonathan Bowen
- Mr. Chemitei Hilary Kiplagat
- Mr. Makau James Aaron
- Mr. Tuoiyot Francis
- Mrs. Korir Roseline Cherotich lagat
- Mr. Mwongo Richard Mururu
- Mr. Mabaya Alfred
- Mrs. Achode Lydia Awino
- Mrs. Mshila Abigail
Among the recent changes that will welcome the new High Court judges are computerized court operations and Dr Mutunga is leading an initiative to interact with the public through social media.