Some Jubilee MPs from Rift Valley plot to reject Maraga nomination – Wandayi
Ugunja MP says their fear is based on the fact that CJ nominee is a no-nonsense person committed to the rule of law. But Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Murkomen says they have no reason to reject him
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi has said some Jubilee MPs from Rift Valley plot to reject the nomination of Justice David Maraga as the next Chief Justice.
He said the MPs have “strong” instructions to have Maraga rejected when the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly start discussing his suitability today.
“They are now putting the spanner in the works to ensure the country does not have a new CJ by the end of the week. You will see drama during the vetting,” Wandayi told the Star.
Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter confirmed Wandayi’s claims, but dismissed the plot to block Maraga’s ap- pointment as useless.
“There are people who are hell-bent on having his name rejected by the House. But that is wrong. I support the two nominees because I know they will deliver,” he said.
The bid to reject Maraga is a build-up to the petition filed in the House by individuals calling themselves Ainamoi Residents. The petitioners are seeking his rejection over the “lenient” sentence he issued against suspects in the January 2008 murder of former area MP David Too.
Too was the elder brother of current MP Benjamin Lang’at, who is said to be behind the petition. Lang’at was unavailable for comment. Rift Valley MPs Parliamentary Group chairman and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen denied the allegations. “Those are total lies. We are fully be- hind the nominees presented by the JSC and we have no political or legal reasons to oppose them,” he said.
Maraga’s vetting comes after his nomination by the Judicial Service Commission to replace Willy Mutunga, who opted for early retirement in June. Court of Appeal judge Philomena Mwilu was nominated by the JSC on Monday to succeed Justice Kalpana Rawal, who was forced out after attaining the retirement age.
The JSC is expected to send Mwilu’s name to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will then send it to the MPs for vetting. “Their fear is premised on the fact that Maraga is a no-nonsense person. He is straightforward and committed to the rule of law. We in ODM will support him and the lady because we trust them to continue the reforms Mutunga started,” Wandayi said.