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Vol 57 No 13

Published 24th June 2016


Battles on the judges' bench

A fight over nominating the Chief Justice could affect the credibility of next year's elections

The Supreme Court narrowly averted a succession crisis just hours before Chief Justice Willy Munywoki Mutunga, 70, hung up his robes for retirement on 16 June. That raises questions about whether the Court could fend off future challenges to its independence before next year's elections. Just 36% of Kenyans have confidence in its neutrality – that is, its ability to rule on elections without political interference – according to a local opinion poll. Mutunga's accusation that 'cartels of corruption' operate within the judiciary, and the key role of the Supreme Court in ruling on the disputed elections in 2013, upped the stakes of what was nominally a battle about the retirement age for Supreme Court judges.

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