A City Lawyer has written a protest letter to Chief Justice Martha Koome, alerting the Supreme Court President that the decision to transfer judges without a suitable framework has affected operations at Milimani High Court.
In a letter to the Chief Justice dated September 20, Lawyer Omwanza Ombati stated that the exercise had halted operations at the High Court Constitutional and Human Rights Division, where Lady Justices Hedwig Ong’udi and Mugure Thande were serving prior to their transfer.
Omwanza claims that the two Judges were replaced by one Judge, Chacha Mwiti, who is yet to report to his new station.
“On Monday, September 18, 2023, we were notified, via the Division’s Causelist, that Justices Hedwig I. Ong’udi and Mugure Thande would no longer be sitting in the Division as they were ‘on transfer’.
“All matters pending before the two departing judges were listed for Mention before the Deputy Registrar. As for judgments & rulings scheduled for delivery, they were taken out indefinitely and reserved for delivery on Notice,” reads the letter to the CJ.
The City Lawyer claimed that the Milimani Constitutional and Human Rights Division is currently understaffed, as only one Judge, Justice L Mugambi, presides over all matters.
He noted that Justice Mugambi cannot be expected to single-handedly take up the departing judges’ dockets and caseloads.
“The above scenario does not bode well for the realization of the right of access to justice. It goes without saying that the Division, often being the last bastion of constitutionalism and the rights and freedoms, we hold dear, needs to operate at an optimal level,” stated the Lawyer.