Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday led the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in opposing a proposal in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum seeking to have a Judiciary ombudsman appointed by the President.

Addressing the media, the JSC recommended that the proposal be dropped as there are already mechanisms of investigating and reporting complaints.

According to JSC, having a Judiciary ombudsman with the proposed roles in the BBI referendum will be duplicating some of the functions being done by the JSC at the moment.

The Commission proposed that the JSC be empowered to appoint the ombudsman and his/her office be enhanced, strengthened, and made accessible to members of the public.

According to the JSC, the ombudsman should report to the commission and not the President as proposed in the BBI.

“…It is for this reason that the JSC recommends among other others, the structure and functions of the Ombudsman as proposed by the BBI report under the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 be abandoned.

“Such a move will only serve to erode public confidence in our commission that was pumped before 2010 as no longer regarded as truly independent so that the Judiciary is seen as vulnerable to government pressures… We are making our positions clear, if they choose to ignore it, the public knows the position of the Judiciary,” Maraga said.