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Pro-gay scholar fails to make shortlist for Chief Justice post

Outspoken US-based law scholar and columnist Makau Mutua and former anti-corruption commission chairman Aaron Ringera were some of the big names that failed to make the shortlist for the position of Chief Justice.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) shortlisted six out 14 candidates who had applied for the post by the end of last week. The list was released on Tuesday.

Prof Makau has in the past incurred criticism for being a gay rights activists.

Those shortlisted are Supreme Court judge Smokin Wanjala; Court of Appeal judges Alnashir Visram, Roselyne N. Nambuye and David Maraga; presiding judge of the Land and Environment Court Mbogholi Msagha; and former Law Society of Kenya chairman Philip Nzamba Kitonga.

Others who failed to make it are Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang, Mr David Mwaure Waihiga, Dr Isaac Rutenberg, Ms Lucy Wanja Julius, Mr Kongani Udoto Kongani Paul Andrew and Mr Daniel Wambura.

REVIEWED APPLICATIONS

Mr Waihiga is a practising lawyer in Nairobi, Mr Wambura is principal administrative secretary in the office of the Deputy President, Dr Ruttenberg teaches at Strathmore University School of Law, Ms Julius is a practising lawyer and a member of the Commission for University Education.

In a statement on Tuesday, JSC said it had reviewed the applications received for the position for completeness and conformity with the constitutional and statutory requirements, the JSC Act and criteria outlined in the advertisement for the post.

“Today, Wednesday, July 13, the JSC will shortlist applicants for the position of Deputy Chief Justice and on Thursday, July 14, shortlist for the position of Supreme Court judge,” said acting JSC Chairperson Margaret Kobia.

Retired Justice Ringera led a radical surgery of the Judiciary in 2003, which saw 23 out of 45 Court of Appeal and High Court judges as well as 82 out of 244 magistrates sacked.

He is currently a judge at the East African Court of Justice.