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Court suspends Malonza’s decision to nominate Mokua to EACJ

Friday, June 7th, 2024 02:40 | By
Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of EAC Peninah Malonza. PHOTO/@magicalkenya/X.

The High Court has blocked the nomination of Zablon Muruka Mokua to the East African Court of Justice.

In a brief ruling by Justice Lawrence Mugambi issued orders suspending East Africa Community Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza’s decision to nominate Mokua to the Regional Court to replace Justice Charles Nyachae pending hearing of a lawsuit lodged by the Law Society of Kenya.

Suspended letter

“A conservatory order is thus issued suspending CS Malonza's letter dated April 18, 2024, that nominated Mokua for the appointment as a Judge of the East African Court of Justice First Instance Division pending the hearing of this application,” Justice Mugambi ordered.

The judge also certified the case filed by LSK challenging the nomination of Mokua who served as an MCA for Basi Central Ward in Kisii county from 2017 to 2022 as a judge to the regional court and barred his vetting or further consideration, deliberations, processing, and approval pending the determination of the suit.

Justice Mugambi ordered CS Malonza (pictured), Judicial Service Commission(JSC), Attorney General Justin Muturi, and Mokua to file their responses to the suit by the lawyers’ lobby within three days before highlighting submissions on June 21, 2024, before Judge Chacha Mwita.

The court orders come after LSK faulted the nomination of Mokua as a judge to the regional court to replace Nyachae who resigned in January on grounds his appointment contravenes Kenyan national laws.

Pending appointment

The LSK have questioned the qualification the East Africa Community CS Malonza followed to send the name to the Council of Ministers for approval, pending appointment by the Summit of Heads of State.

LSK through lawyer Emily Osiemo argued that Mokua did not meet the criteria for appointment as a judge of the High Court of Kenya according to the Constitution.

“We are concerned with the nature of the appointment and also about the procedure that has been used to make this particular appointment,” said David Sigano, President of the EALS. “Appointing a judge to the EACJ is equivalent to appointing a judge to the High Court of Kenya. There is a clear procedure on what needs to be done before you can get someone into that position.”

In a letter dated April 18, EAC CS Malonza wrote to the EAC Secretary-General nominating Mokua to replace Justice Nyachae.

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