Kenya: LSK Protests Failure By JSC to Post a High Court Judge in Bomet

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has protested the failure by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to post a resident judge at the Bomet High Court.

South Rift LSK Branch Secretary Kipngetich Korir led advocates in the region to a meeting with visiting Judge Asenath Ongeri where they presented their petition.

Bomet has been without a resident judge for the last one year after Justice Martin Muya stepped aside to fight allegations facing him before a tribunal that later recommended his removal from the bench.

1,000 PENDING CASES

"Currently, there are more than 1,000 cases pending hearing at the High Court in Bomet and the numbers are piling up," said Mr Korir after the stormy meeting with the judge.

A demonstration by the advocates was called off after the meeting with Justice Ongeri who is the Kericho resident judge but visits Bomet for a week once in a month to preside over cases.

"We petitioned Chief Justice David Maraga as the president of the Judicial Service Commission to post a judge in Bomet but that has not happened. The people are suffering with their cases dragging on," said Mr Korir.

"Litigants from Bomet have had to travel to Kericho, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Kitale for their cases to be heard before the Employment and Labour Relations Court and the Environment and Lands Court as a result of lack of a resident judge in the region," he added.

CRISIS, UNCERTAINTY

The advocates said lack of a judge has created a crisis in the region and uncertainty on when the cases will be dealt with.

"President Uhuru Kenyatta should appoint more judges from the list of 42 nominees presented to him by the Judicial Service Commission to alleviate the problems facing the Judiciary," said Mr Desmond Leteipa, a Bomet-based advocate.

Justice Muya is fighting his removal from the bench after a petition was filed by NIC Bank.

He was posted to Bomet in 2015 from Mombasa and later found himself on the wrong side of the law.

The embattled judge, who is said to have appealed against the tribunal's findings, was among 83 magistrates who were removed from office in a Judiciary purge in 2003. He won on appeal, was resonated and later promoted to be a judge.

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