Kenyan court extends order barring EACJ judge appointment

Monday June 24 2024
Milimani Law Courts

The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. File | Nation Media Group


Kenyan Zablon Muruka Mokua will remain barred from taking up the position of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) First Division judge after orders stopping his appointment were extended.

High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi, sitting in for Justice Chacha Mwita on Friday, extended the orders staying the appointment until a petition filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is heard and determined.

“Interim conservatory orders issued on 5th June 2024 are hereby extended until the determination of this petition,” said Justice Mugambi in an order dated June 21, 2024.

The matter will now be heard in September.  

“Highlighting of submissions on all issues in the matter will be on 17th September 2024,” the judge directed.

Read: Court halts appointment of Kenyan as EACJ judge


Dr Mokua was nominated by President William Ruto to replace Kenyan Judge Charles Nyachae, who resigned from the Arusha-based court in January 2024.

However, the LSK challenged his position, arguing that he did not qualify for the job.

LSK says Dr Mokua does not meet the minimum requirements for qualifications as a judge of a superior court, in particular, the High Court, which is the equivalent of the EACJ First Instance Division.

Dr Mokua, who served as a member of the County Assembly (MCA) of Kisii for Bassi Central Ward from 2017 to 2022, was nominated on April 18, 2024, by East African Community Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza to replace Justice Charles Nyachae who resigned in January.

But the LSK has challenged his nomination arguing that he is not a jurist of recognised competence worth being nominated as a judge and that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was not involved in the process of his nomination.

The LSK also submitted that CS Malonza has no constitutional mandate or authority to nominate a judge for appointment.

According to the LSK, it is the JSC that has the mandate to determine the suitability and eligibility of a person worth being nominated as a judge.

In his curriculum vitae, Dr Mokua says he is managing partner and head of litigation at Zablon Mokua & Company Advocates. He is also a pastor at the Pentecostal Mission Church-Kenya.