Kiambu Senator Karungo wa Thang’wa on Thursday, January 4, revealed that he had written to the Senate outlining his intentions to amend both the High Court and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Acts.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Thang’wa explained that the move was aimed at ensuring that judges are held accountable just like other state officers holding constitutional offices.
Thang’wa remarked that whereas politicians, including the President, were subjected to an assessment every five years, this was not the case with judges.
The parliamentarian, therefore, noted that his proposed amendments if adopted by the house would further see more judges impeached.
Kiambu Senator Karungo Thangwa during a senate committee meeting on May 29, 2023.
“The JSC consists of 11 members with 9 of them being members of the judicial community. This has hampered the Commission in its delivery since they cannot crack the whip on one of their own,” he explained.
On the new changes proposed by the Senator, JSC will be reconstituted to add more members of the public who are not in the legal field.
“This can be achieved by reducing the number of judicial officers in the commission or increasing the JSC membership,” he explained.
On impeachment, Senator Thang’wa explained that the decision should not be misconstrued as the Kenya Kwanza administration targeted specific judges.
He explained that the judges who were found to have broken their oath to office should be impeached just like any other state officer.
Other changes the Senator is proposing include establishing a Policies Court within the High Court dedicated to handling litigations challenging government policies.
He remarked that this would be akin to the existing Employment and Environmental Courts in the High Court.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice Martha Koome issued a statement remarking that judges would not be intimidated by other arms of government.
In a rejoinder, President William Ruto remarked that he was pro-independence of the judiciary but against impunity by rogue individuals within the judiciary.
President William Ruto speaks during the burial of Michael Waweru, father of Nyandarua Senator John Methu in Nyandarua County on January 2, 2024.