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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - DAVID MWERE @davidmwere

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.

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