An Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) bishop in Bungoma County has criticised political leaders who have opposed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s submission of Justice Martha Koome’s name to Parliament for vetting and approval for the position of Chief Justice.
Among the political leaders who are against the submission of Justice Koome’s name is Lugari MP Ayub Savula. Last week the MP said that it’s not prudent to have all three arms of the government being led by people from one region.
His sentiments were echoed by five other MPs and three senators who said that they will raise the issue when Koome appears before the House committee.
The political leaders pointed out that the Executive and the National Assembly are currently headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Justin Muturi respectively, who both hail from Mt Kenya.
But while addressing the media at Bungoma Anglican Church, Rt Rev Bishop George Mechumo Wafula said that there is no basis for the legislators’ complaints.
“I’m shocked to hear that some MPs are opposed to the vetting of Justice Koome by Parliament for the position of Chief Justice on the basis of regional balance,” said Rev Mechumo.
Rev Mechumo further said the political leaders’ views hold no water since Kenyan laws allows any qualified person to seek appointment and be given the opportunity to serve in any position in this country, regardless the region that individual hails from.
Rev Mechumo congratulated Justice Koome for being picked for the job by the Judicial Service Commission.
“As a church we want to laud her for successfully going through the interview process and we are praying for her to be approved by the Parliamentary Committee. We, the Anglican Church of Kenya, will pray for her and we would like her to have courage to serve this country just like the former Chief Justice David Maraga did,” he said.
He also asked legislators to hasten the process of Justice Koome’s approval.
“We would like our MPs to quickly approve Justice Koome for her to be immediately sworn in as Kenya’s new Chief Justice,” he said.
At the same time, the clergyman urged the state to put aside the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum plans and instead allocate the money that will be used for that exercise in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
“We want to appeal to the government to set this plans aside and use the funds in importing drugs and vaccine to tackle the third wave of the pandemic that has already claimed many lives,” he said.
Rev Mechumo said that right now the lives of Kenyans are more important than the planned constitutional reforms.
“There is no need to rush the plebiscite. We have laws that can still govern this nation until such a time that we have the money to subject wananchi to a referendum,” he said.