|Dr. Will Mutunga, ¨Pro-Gay¨ Nominee for Chief Justice of the Kenyan Supreme Court|
Nominees to Kenya's top two legal jobs are proving extremely controversial - because of their pro-gay history. Kenne Mwikya looks at the context, and the strange focus on the fact that Kenya's proposed next Chief Justice has an earring.
The nomination of Dr. Willy Mutunga and Nancy Baraza to the post of Kenyan Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice has brought with it a unique chance for Kenyans to rethink stereotypes and the policing of certain bodies, values and ideals differently. The Judicial Service Commission, the body mandated to vet candidates who had applied for both positions made it clear that one of the main reasons it chose the said candidates is that they were known reformers, were outsiders from the judicial system (meaning they are lawyers rather than judges) and they would likely bring fresh ideas and extensive knowledge of the law into the judiciary.
The JSC Chairperson said of the nomination and nominees:
“We have picked people who will reform the justice system and our judiciary. ... We wanted someone who can provide leadership to the courts and has shown passion and zeal to help Kenyans realise the dream in the new constitution, especially its values of equality, justice, fundamental rights and freedoms and a commitment to the rule of law”
Though their nominations by the JSC and the fact that President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have agreed with these nominations paving way for their vetting in parliament it seems that their passing through parliament will be a bit tougher than expected. A lawyer in Nairobi has already petitioned the High Court to reject the nominations on various grounds including the fact that both candidates that “promoted homosexuality” and the selection of one nominee per office “tied the hands of the President, the Prime Minister and Parliament in consultations and debate”. HERE
· Thanks to President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya
· Thanks to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kenya
· Thanks to Dr. Willy Mutunga and Nancy Baraza
· Thanks to LGBT Asylum News, sidebar