President William Ruto has nominated Isaac Ruto, former Governor of Bomet, to join the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in a recent communication to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Moses Wetang’ula. In addition, Ms. Caroline Nzilani Ajuoga has been nominated for a position on the 11-member JSC.
Upon approval, the two nominees will represent the public in the commission, succeeding Mr. Felix Koskei and Prof. Olive Mugenda, whose terms are set to expire in November 2023. This nomination breathes new life into the political career of Isaac Ruto, who had previously lost in the August 9, 2022 general election.
Isaac Ruto, a one-time adversary of President Ruto, served as the inaugural Governor of Bomet from 2013 to 2017 before losing to the late Dr. Joyce Laboso. Last year, Isaac Ruto’s attempted comeback was thwarted by Dr. Hillary Barchok.
On Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Wetang’ula confirmed receipt of the two nominations and forwarded them to the House Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs (JLAC) for approval hearings. Chaired by Tharaka MP George Murugara, JLAC has 21 days to conduct the necessary hearings and submit a report to the House, which then has seven days to approve or reject the nominees.
Per the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, should the 28-day period elapse before the House reaches a decision, the nominees will automatically be considered approved for presidential appointment.
As stipulated in Article 171(2)(h) of the Constitution, the JSC comprises one woman and one man representing the public who are not lawyers, appointed by the President with the approval of the National Assembly. Members of the Commission, excluding the Chief Justice and Attorney-General, serve a renewable five-year term. The JSC is chaired by the Chief Justice, who also serves as the President of the Supreme Court.