The Judiciary has effected the transfer of thirteen judges, including some whose judgments have gone against the executive.
The letter announcing the changes in stations for the 13 judges bears the signature of the principal judge of the high court, Justice Eric Ogola, and states that the transfers take effect on the 2nd of October this year.
Those moving from their current stations include lady justice Mugure Thande, who now moves from the Constitutional and human rights division at the Mililani High Court in Nairobi to Malindi High Court.
Justice Thande’s recent judgments have been seen to go against the government. It is in her court that the case challenging the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 initially landed. She suspended the implementation of the contested Finance Act 2023, temporarily stopping the government in it’s tracks of tax collection and recommended that a three-judge bench be constituted to hear the case.
Justice Thande had also eight months earlier halted the government’s plans to import and deal in genetically modified foods by suspending the cabinet’s lifting of a ten-year ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A three-judge bench later upheld that suspension, locking GMOs out of Kenya’s menu, for the time being.
Justices Aleem Visram and Hedwig Ong’udi have also been moved in the transfers, with Justice Visram moving from Mililani’s Civil Division to the Commercial and Tax Division and Hedwig Ong’udi going to Nakuru as the Principal Judge there. The two were part of a three-judge bench that declared the appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) unconstitutional, thwarting the president’s plans to reward loyalists in government.
Justice David Majanja currently leading the three-judge bench hearing the cases challenging the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 will now serve at the Milimani high court’s civil division from the current Commercial and Tax division he is serving.
Another notable transfer is that of Justice Diana Kavedza who was recently promoted to a high court judge from a magistrate who was heading the Kahawa court.
The judge has been transferred from the Milimani Law Court criminal division to Kibra and Kahawa courts. Kavedza handled the murder case of the Eastleigh-based officer Ahmed Rashid who was charged with murder.
Others moved in the Judiciary’s transfers are Chacha Mwita, Hillary Chemitei, Maureen Odero, Florence Muchemi, Patricia Gichohi, Teresa Odera, Peter Mulwa. Lilian Mutende has been appointed as the CSO chair.
The transfers come at the same time as the appointment of some 70 resident magistrates by the Judicial Service Commission. The 70 magistrates’ appointment is expected to aid in expediting the hearing and determination of cases and the reduction of the backlog of cases.