Supreme Court judge Smokin Wanjala and two Court of Appeal judges have joined the race for the post of Kenya’s next Chief Justice as the deadline for submission of applications was extended.
The decision to extend the deadline is meant to allow more candidates to present their applications.
“We moved the deadline to Friday because of the public holiday on Thursday. We expect more applications on the last day,” said Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) declared vacancies in the office of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and the Supreme Court last month following the retirement of Justice Mutunga, Justice Kalpana Rawal and Justice Philip Tunoi.
Court of Appeal judges seeking to become the next Chief Justice include Judges David Maraga and Alnassir Vishram.
Washington-based human rights lawyer, Prof Makau Mutua, has also submitted his application while High Court judge Pauline Nyamweya has applied to be the next Deputy Chief Justice.
Prof Mutua confirmed he had submitted his application.
It also emerged that Attorney-General Githu Mugai, previously seen as a top candidate for the CJ position, might have shelved his ambition.
He could leave the AG’s position to join the International Court of Justice where he is the government’s nominee to replace a Somali judge.
He would not comment on Tuesday.
On Tuesday Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria complained about the JSC’s conditions that applicants for the CJ position must provide certified examination transcripts for their degrees.
He claimed the requirement was meant to lock out certain candidates as several potential candidates who studied abroad would not be able to certify their documents in the stipulated time.
“The JSC should withdraw the advert published on June 17, and publish one without this stringent requirements,” he said.
But the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary explained that the conditions were set according to the constitution and would not be changed.
“Even those who apply for other offices of judges face the same requirements. This is the standard and there is nothing unusual about it,” Ms Amadi said responding to Mr Kuria’s request.
Dr Mutunga, who retired after one term, announced in his last speech that he had been appointment Commonwealth Special Envoy to the Maldives.