Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi has stated that the High Court ruling on the appointment of six judges to the Court of Appeal will be the biggest test to Chief Justice Martha Koome's loyalties.
Havi's sentiments come after a three-judge bench of the High Court on Thursday, October 21, 2021, directed President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint the remaining six judges within the next 14 days.
According to the LSK boss, the CJ's move should the Head of State not appoint the judges will reveal her loyalties.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice Martha Koome during the swearing-in of Court of Appeal Judges. |Photo| Courtesy|
"The judgment on the appointment of the six Judges is not a further indictment of President Uhuru Kenya. It is the biggest test on Chief Justice Martha Koome on whether she is Executive aligned or independent. She can only pass it by swearing-in the six judges on 5-11-2021," Havi stated.
The bench, comprising Justices James Wakiaga, George Nduru, and William Musyoka further ordered CJ Koome to proceed and appoint the judges to the appellate court should President Kenyatta fail to do so with the 14 days.
The ruling has since prompted legal minds to allege that the CJ's decision might result in a collision cause between her and the Head of State.
"The Constitution dictates Uhuru should appoint the judges, it does not contemplate an alternative. It is a possibility that the Chief Justice will be the one to decide whether to swear in the six or not. In the event that they are sworn in and the case moves to the Court of Appeal which overturns Koome's move, then the judges would have to be unsworn. It is a very untidy situation as we are in unchartered waters," Lawyer Charles Kanjama added.
Following her appointment as Chief Justice, Koome continues to take a varied stance on matters between the Judiciary and the executive.
She has continued to advocate that her administration patch things with the executive.