NAIROBI, Kenya — Justice Juma Chitembwe has today appeared before the Judicial Service Commission to be vetted for the Supreme Court Judge position.
The Supreme Court Judge position was left vacant after Justice Jackton Ojwang retired in February 2020.
While vouching for himself, Chitembwe faulted the 2017 decision to nullify presidential elections saying that he does not understand why it was annulled.
The majority decision had nullified the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta citing errors in the transmission of results.
He also pointed out on corruption issues saying it will be a challenge to fully eliminate it, but he will work towards reducing corruption in the country.
Chitembwe added that his decision making will only be based on evidence presented to the Supreme Court.
“What will be at play will be the documentation presented before the court not the stories in the newspapers or the opinions of people who are on television.
I do not think there is room to be influenced by external factors, we will be there to dispense justice and we will evaluate the case and do justice to it,” he said.
Chitembwe had initially appeared before the panel for the position of Chief Justice but was unsuccessful after the panel nominated Martha Koome.
When questioned why he applied for the two positions, he said, “I am looking to serve the wananchi. An opportunity has arisen and I think I am qualified to work in that court and I think I am suitable to go and be part of the team. I am not looking for employment as I am already an employee of the Judiciary.”
Chitembwe 54, was the first to be grilled and has 29 year experience in the legal profession. He is among the seven candidates shortlisted for the Supreme Court Judge position.
The successful candidate will join a seven-member bench in the country’s apex court.