December 17, 2017

Changes in the Kenyan Judiciary

By Jude Titus
The Judiciary has gone through drastic changes as the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has announced transfer and deployment of Judges.
The transfers and changes have affected 105 Judges in total and have seen each county receive a High Court Judge.
‘‘In exercise of powers conferred to me under section 13 of the High Court [Organization and Administration] Act 2015, and in compliance with the Transfer Policy and Guidelines for Judicial Officers and Judges of the High Court and Courts of Equal status, I have made the following transfers and deployment of judges of the High Court of Kenya, Employment and Labour Relations Court and Environment and Land Court,’’ indicated CJ Mutunga in a statement.
Justice Joel Ngugi who has been the head of the Judiciary Training Institute will now head the new High Court in Kiambu which was established by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. The Judiciary Training Institute will now be headed by Justice J Otieno-Odek.
The establishment of the Court will ensure that suspects in capital offences such as robbery with violence and murder will no longer be taken to the city. On the other hand appeals from the county’s magistrates courts will be handled in the city.
Justice Richard Mwongo will remain as the Principal Judge of the High Court while Justices’ Abida Ali Aroni and Samuel Mukunya have been moved to Busia.
Justice Isaac Lenaola is now the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court while Justice Aggrey Muchelule will be the Presiding Judge of the Family Division.
Justice Mumbi’s transfer to Kericho from the Constitutional and Human Rights Division raised several eyebrows but the CJ said that it was actually a promotion and the decision was taken after she requested to be moved.
‘‘In the spirit she requested the transfer. The transfer is also a promotion of her exemplary work,’’ the CJ indicated on twitter.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi was named the Brand Kenya Ambassador 2013 and Jurist of the same year by the International Commission of Jurists [ICJ] Kenya in recognition of her qualities that contribute positively to the reputation of Kenya.
Justice Ngugi defied the odds to become the first judge with albinism in Kenya and perhaps in the world a sign of hope for persons living with disability.
The CJ said that the deployments and transfers will take effect from June 2, 2016 to give the judges ample time to conclude the various cases they are currently handling.

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