The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has hit back at President Uhuru Kenyatta over his statement claiming credit for the appointment of Chief Justice David Maraga.
President Kenyatta last month, while on a campaign tour in Nyamira County, appealed to members of the Kisii community to vote for his Jubilee Party partly because he had appointed “one of your own” as Chief Justice.
However, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Monday said the claim was erroneous, insisting it picked the Chief Justice independently and recommended his eventual appointment to the president as required by law.
“…the remarks during the said political meeting could, and had in fact, been misconstrued to imply a political hand in the appointment. This is unfortunate, erroneous and substantially misleading to the public,” JSC said in a statement signed by commission secretary Anne Amadi.
JSC cited article 166(1)(a) of the Constitution which provides that the Head of State shall appoint the Chief Justice and deputy in accordance with recommendations of the JSC, and subject to the approval of the National Assembly.
“Kenyans are aware that the commission, in exercise of its express and exclusive constitutional mandate granted under Article 172 of the Constitution, conducted the recruitment through a transparent, accountable and competitive process as laid down by the Constitution,” it said.
“It is clear from the foregoing that the constitutional role of the Head of State on the appointment of the Chief Justice is exercised within the strict and limited provision of Article 166.’’