President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally approved the appointment of 34 new judges of the 41 submitted to him by the Judicial Service Commission in July 2019.
In a special gazette notice issued Thursday evening, seven judges have been appointed to the Court of appeal, nine to the Employment and Labour Relations Court, and 18 to the Land and Environment Court.
The latest development coming in the wake of an uproar following another scathing attack on the Judiciary by the Executive on Tuesday during Madaraka day celebrations in Kisumu.
The nomination of Justices Aggrey Muchelule, Weldon Korir, George Odunga, and Joel Ngugi to the superior court was rejected and referred back to the commission with the President saying they did not meet the threshold.
Odunga and Ngugi were among the five judges that nullified the BBI bill.
The President did also not clear Mr Makori Evans Kiago and Ms Judith Elizabeth Omange Cheruiyot recommended for the Labour and Environments Court.
Those who will serve in the appeal court effective Thursday, June 3 are Justices Msagha Amraphael Mbogholi, Omondi Hellen Amollo, Ngugi Grace Mumbi, Francis Tuiyott, Nyamweya Pauline Nyaboke, Lesiit Jessie and Dr Kibaya Imaana Laibuta.
Employment and Labour Relations Court judges are Baari Christine Noontatua, Gakeri Jacob Kariuki, Keli Jemima Wanza, Mwaure Ann Ngibuini, Matanga Bernard Odongo Manani, Rutto Stella Chemtai, Kebira Ocharo, Kitiku Agnes Mueni-Nzei and Nderitu David Njagi.
Those approved to serve in Labour and Environments Court are Mboya Oguttu Joseph, Naikuni Lucas Leperes, Mwanyale Michael Ngolo, Addraya Edda Dena, Kimani Lilian Gathoni, Kamau Joseph Mugo, Wabwoto Karoph Edward, Koross Anne Yatich Kipingor, Gicheru Maxwell Nduiga, Mogeni Ann Jacqueline Akhalemesi, Ongarora Fred Nyagaka, Christopher Kyania Nzili, Mugo David Mwangi, Omollo Lynette Achieng’, Washe Emmanuel Mutwana, Nyukuri Annet, Murigi Theresa Wairimu and Asati Esther.
The appointments are a major boost for the new Chief Justice Martha Koome who promised to reduce the backlog of cases by facilitating the appointment of additional judges and magistrates.
Her predecessor Justice David Maraga had decried a lack of goodwill from the President whom he blamed for the piling cases over his failure to appoint the 41 nominated judges.
President had reportedly cited integrity issues in some of the judges. One of the nominees died last year.
A Nairobi lawyer Adrian Kamotho Njenga had petitioned the High Court to compel the President to approve the appointments. He has sued Attorney General Paul Kihara in his capacity as the chief government legal adviser, while the JSC and the Chief Justice are named as interested parties.