CJ Koome denies calling for Uhuru’s impeachment
Chief Justice Martha Koome has distanced herself from reports suggesting that she has filed a petition in court seeking the removal of President Uhuru Kenyatta from office through an impeachment process.
A local daily reported on Saturday, June 11, 2022, that Koome, who doubles up as President of the Supreme Court, wants the Head of State impeached for refusing to appoint six out of the 40 judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Through lawyer Charles Kanjama, Koome maintained that the President is in contempt of a High Court ruling directing him to appoint the judges, but clarified that she had not advocated for his removal from office.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Chief Justice Koome has not made an application seeking the president’s impeachment,” lawyer Kanjama said in a statement.
“The appeal merely notes that the appropriate remedy to the Katiba Institute petition is a declaration that the cure for violation of the Constitution is impeachment of the President or any other order that secures his direct accountability to the Court.”
Katiba Institute moved to court in 2021 seeking to have Koome make the six appointments in President Kenyatta’s place.
Koome faults Katiba Institute
While faulting the lobby group, the CJ noted that only the President has the mandate to appoint the judges.
“The role of appointing judges is given in the Constitution to the President and not the Chief Justice. It would create an unfortunate two-tier system in the Judiciary if some judges came into office without a presidential appointment,” Kanjama added.
“The proper remedy to Katiba Institute, which went to court, is for the existing constitutional enforcement mechanism to be applied to deal with the President's refusal to appoint the six judges.”
President Kenyatta refused to appoint the six judges citing a National Intelligence Service (NIS) report that had revealed that all the six had questionable integrity.
The six judges include; Justices, George Odunga, Prof Joel Ngugi, Weldon Korir, Aggrey Muchelule, Chief Magistrate Evans Makori and High Court deputy registrar Judith Omange.