The six judges that retired President Uhuru Kenyatta rejected their nominations want an apology as well as compensation from the government. In a court affidavit signed by Justice Aggrey Muchelule, the judges argued that they were not given a notice of non-confirmation in July 2019.
The judges say that they were humiliated in public because of the allegations made against them by Uhuru and other government officials.
“We were publicly humiliated because of the insinuations made by Uhuru Kenyatta and other public officials that we were collectively unfit to hold judicial offices in Kenya,” the court documents read in part.
The six judges include Korir Weldon Kipyegon, Muchelule Aggrey Otsyula, Odunga George Vincent, Prof Joel Mwaura Ngugi, Makori Evans Kiago and Cheruiyot Omange Judith Elizabeth. The Court of Appeal Judges also want to be compensated for the loss of annual salary increases during the period of KSh 3.9 million each.
The Environmental Judges also want to be paid KSh 3.7 million each, bringing the total compensation to at least KSh 23 million. The six were among the 40 judges and magistrates that the Judicial Service Commission had supported for promotion. However, after witnessing the swearing-in of 34 others, Uhuru said his decision to reject the appointment was based only on integrity. In what appeared to be an indirect response to his critics, the former head of state suggested intelligence reports from state agencies also prompted his move.
Despite increasing pressure, Uhuru insisted that he will always be guided by integrity to choose what is right and appropriate for future generations. “Like you today, I also took an oath, it is not clear to me to turn a blind eye to the information of our state institutions. I will choose the difficult over the easy, and I am not doing this for myself but for the people of Kenya and generations,” he said. On Tuesday, September 14, President William Ruto signed an executive order to appoint six judges that Uhuru had rejected.
The judges were sworn in on Wednesday, September 13, at an exercise held at the Nairobi Palace. The event was graced by, among others, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Chief Justice Martha Koome, her deputy Philomena Mwilu and former Chief Justice David Maraga. In his speech, Ruto called on the judiciary to speed up the decision of corruption cases.