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MPs warn judges against “Mugabe” era tenure

15 September 2015, 21:36 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Homa Bay Town MP, Peter Kaluma has warned the Deputy Chief Justice, Kalpana Rawal and other judges who have attained the new Constitution’s 70 years of retirement in judicial service to pack and leave.

Kaluma maintained that the refusal by affected judges to retire on grounds that they will only leave office upon attaining 74 years as provided by the old Constitution during their hiring is setting a dangerous trend in good governance which has to be stopped before it becomes a culture.

“What does Justice Kalpana Rawal and other judges want to do that they could not do in 70 years? It is selfish, greedy and unpatriotic. You took oath of office to respect, defend and protect this Constitution upon its promulgation in 2010 and time has come to create space for other Kenyans,” said Kaluma.  

While citing Article 167 of the Constitution which provides that a judge has to retire upon attaining 70 years and may be elected to retire at any time after reaching 65 years, Kaluma said the provision did not save judicial appointments made before the new law.

Read Also: I will not retire, Rawal now says

“Any past judicial appointment which is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution on the retirement age of judges is invalid, null and void because the 2010 promulgation of the Constitution brought to an end the term of service of the then Chief Justice and Attorney General who had been employed under the old Constitution which had entitled them to serve for a longer term,” said Kaluma.

He asked the affected judges to desist from going to court to block their retirement as ruled by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) with a perception that the offices they are privileged to hold cannot exist without them instead of giving other qualified Kenyans a chance to serve.

Kaluma also added that retired judges should not be allowed to draw huge salaries from public coffers at a time industrial action by teachers, medical practitioners and other public servants are threatening to bring down the country.

“We cannot allow to be ushered into the Judiciary era of “Mugabe” judges. President Barrack Obama derided this attitude in his address to the Africa Union and emphasized the need to respect presidential and public service term limits,” said Kaluma.  

The Homa Bay Town MP pointed out that the Rawal and other judges’ refusal to retire is an abuse to the integrity and dignity of topmost judicial officers and called on JSC to immediately stop their salaries and recover all the monies they have been receiving after attaining the retirement age.

He warned that JSC’s failure to act promptly to stop the salaries puts it at the risk of facing legal action for permitting wastage of public resources from its allocated budget.

“The Judicial Service Commission must take immediate steps to secure offices occupied by the judges and facilities granted to them to serve as judicial officers, and appoint new judges to serve. The Law Society of Kenya must take steps to bring this nonsense to an end,” said Kaluma.

Kaluma was speaking at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

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