Thirteen judges were yesterday moved in an unprecedented reshuffle including some whose judgments have gone against the executive.
The transfers were communicated by the Principal Judge of the High Court, Justice Eric Ogola adding that the changes take effect on October 2, 2023.
Milimani Tax Division judge David Majanja swapped with Justice Aleem Visram of the Civil Division.
Justice Chacha Mwita has been named the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Division, ending his tenure at the Commercial Division.
Justice Ogola also moved Justice Mugure Thande from Milimani’s Constitutional Division to Malindi High Court.
Justice Thande’s recent judgments have been seen to go against the government including the suspension of the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 that has since been rescinded.
Mugure suspended the implementation of the contested Finance Act 2023, temporarily stopping the government on its tracks of tax collection and recommended that a three-judge bench be constituted to hear the case.
Justice Thande had also eight months earlier halted the government’s plans to import and deal in genetically modified foods by suspending the cabinet’s lifting of a ten-year ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A three-judge bench later upheld that suspension, locking GMOs out of Kenya’s menu, for the time being.
Justice David Majanja currently leading the three-judge bench hearing the cases challenging the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 will now serve at the Milimani high court’s civil division from the current Commercial and Tax division he is serving.
Justice Ogola also moved Justice Patricia Gichohi from Kisii to Nakuru while Hillary Chemitei moved from Nakuru to Milimani’s Family Division.
Justice Maureen Odero who was stationed at Milimani’s Family Division was transferred to Nyeri High Court and assigned as the Presiding Judge.
Ogola also moved Justice Florence Muchemi from Nyeri High Court to Thika where she will serve as Presiding Judge.
Justice Rachel Kavedza was assigned to Kahawa and Kibra Law Courts from Milimani’s Criminal Division.
Kavedza was recently promoted to a high court judge from a Magistrate who was heading the Kahawa court.
The judge has been transferred from the Milimani Law Court criminal division to Kibra and Kahawa courts. Kavedza handled the murder case of the Eastleigh-based officer Ahmed Rashid who was charged with murder.
Justices Aleem Ong’udi were part of a three-judge bench that declared the appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) unconstitutional, thwarting the president’s plans to reward loyalists in government.
Lilian Mutende has been appointed as the CSO chair.
The transfers come at the same time as the appointment of some 70 resident magistrates by the Judicial Service Commission. The 70 magistrates’ appointment is expected to aid in expediting the hearing and determination of cases and the reduction of the backlog of cases.