Former IEBC chairman Issack Hassan and his deputy Lilian Mahiri-Zaja could make a major return in public life after they were shortlisted for the position judge of the Court of Appeal and High Court judges, respectively.
The two are listed among the 334 individuals who had applied for the position of the Court of Appeal and High Court judges that were advertised by the Judicial Service Commission on March 14, 2022.
A total of 68 individuals had applied for the positions in the court of appeal out of which the JSC shortlisted 31, while 266 applied for the positions in the High Court. JSC shortlisted 104.
The two served the commission between 2011 and 2016 when they were removed after public protests mounted by Mr Raila Odinga led the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).
The coaltion accused had accused Mr Hassan and his team of bias in the 2013 general election and messing its attempt to amend the constitution through a popular initiative, which Cord had dubed OKoa Kenya.
Ms Mahiri-Zaja had applied for both positions but was only shortlisted for the one in the High Court.
Others public officers seeking to join the bench include Ms Dorcas Oduor, who is the Secretary of Prosecutions, a position that makes her the second in command in the Directorate.
Mr Mwaniki Gachoka, who is a commissioner of the EACC, is also seeking to join the bench as judge in the court of appeal in a shortlist that is dominated by judges of the high court who are seeking elevation to the superior court.
Employment court judge Nduma Nderi, who failed in his attempt to succeed Mr David Maraga as Chied Justice has thrown his lot in the ring again and is seeking to join the court of appeal.
Ms Patricia Nyaundi, who served as the CEO of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, has also been shortlisted for position of the Judge of the High court.
The interviews for the position will be conducted between June 20 and August 24, 2022 and the JSC has asked the public to submit any details of the applicant that may be of interest to the public of the commission.
“The Commission may interview any member of the public who has submitted any information of interest in respect of any shortlisted candidate and such information will be kept confidential,” the JSC says in an advert that appeared in a section of the media.
JSC is seeking to recruit 6 more Judges of the Court of Appeal and 20 judges of the High Court as part of its strategy to address the protracted challenge of backlog of cases.
Data from the JSC indicates that the number of cases aged 5 years and above reduced marginally from 35, 359 in 2019/20 financial year to 34, 648 in the last financial year.
JSC has asked for Sh1 billion from the National Treasury for the recruitment of judicial officers and staff which it argues it is necessary for the reduction of backlog cases.