Atheists in Kenya Society has opposed the nomination of Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia for the position of Chief Justice even as interviews for the position entered the second day.
In a letter to Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Society President Harrison Mumia said that while they recognize that Ngatia is a highly experienced counsel, he is likely to compromise judicial independence if appointed.
According to the Atheists, the Senior Counsel defended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s disputed win in Presidential petitions filed by Raila Odinga in 2013 and 2017.
“It’s obvious that his personal interests are likely to be contrary to his loyalty to the Kenya public as Chief Justice,” said Mumia.
The Society argued that it has no confidence in Ngatia’s ability to safe guard the rights and freedoms of Kenyans to ensure equal protection for all.
“We are one year away from the general elections and it’s critical that we get a Chief Justice who will guarantee judicial independence of the Supreme Court,” Mumia argued.
Ngatia is set to appear before the Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday April 20, at 9am for his interview for the position.
The Commission received 13 applications for the position of the Chief Justice who is also the President of the Supreme Court, and shortlisted 10 candidates.
Justice Chitembwe Said Juma was the first to be interviewed after he appeared before the Commission on Monday 12th April, while Prof. Kameri Mbote Annie Patricia Gathiru, SC will appear before the Commission is currently facing the panel.
Others include Court of Appeal President William Ouko, Dr Moni Wekesa, Alice Yano, Lady Justice Koome Martha, Justice Marete Njagi, Justice Juma Nderi and Murgor Philip SC.