Having watched live judicial nominees vetting on local TV stations, I can say it is historical and a great achievement on Kenya’s reforms. It was very interesting and entertaining to listen to different comments for and against the nominees yesterday.
Today the nominees Dr. Willy Mutunga for Chief Justice, Nancy Baraza for Deputy Chief Justice and Keriako Tobiko for Director of Public Prosecutions underwent approval hearing by members of Parliament. It was intriguing to hear them question the candidates on their qualifications and mostly on their personal life especially for 2 candidates Dr. Mutunga and Ms. Baraza. Compared to Mr. Tobiko, Dr. Mutunga and Ms. Baraza are new faces in the public positions, are divorcees and liberal in their beliefs, that is why they got a lot of probing into their personal life.
From my view I think the person with the most issues about his nomination is Dr. Willy Mutunga. Apparently many Kenyans are happy about his nomination, but there are two groups that are not happy about his nomination. One group is some Christians and some politicians. This is why I decided to take time to listen to Dr. Willy Mutunga himself giving information about his qualifications and personal life that has really caused a big controversy over his nomination.
From what I gathered I can describe Dr. Mutunga as being human, every human being has his/her good and bad side, no one is perfect. About the good side of him, he has been described as humble, in-corruptible; a reformist who was detained for fighting for reforms and today he proved he is humble from the way he approached his vetting. What I can say may be his bad side is he is divorced twice therefore does not uphold family values, it is believed he supports abortion but did not deny or confirm this claim. Then there is a side of him that may be good or bad depending on ones attitude he confirmed he is not gay as speculated because of the stud he wears on one ear, but does not discriminate against gay people. He is a believer in all religions as a boy under his Kamba tribe traditional beliefs he was named Willy Mutunga, as a Christian he was named William Jacob and as a Muslim he was named Wali Mohamed.
I believe the real issue here is not that Dr. Willy Mutunga went to his interview with a stud on his ear or about his lifestyle and beliefs. How many prominent Kenyans are hiding their sexuality, are divorced, devil worshipers, are involves with prostitutes on Koinange street, corrupt, drug dealers, land grabbers, criminals, pretend to be very religious? The list is very long. Kenyans are sooo tired of these pretenders. Hon. MP Martha Karua who was taught by Dr. Mutunga at the University applauded him for the humility and tolerance during the vetting process, many of our prominent personalities in Kenya cannot accept to go through this kind of vetting and act in the same manner.
In answer to questions about his personal life and beliefs, he says the constitution is clear on issues of family values, gayism/abortion is illegal and only allowed on medical grounds. Dr.Willy Mutunga accepts to serve Kenyans impartially and upholding the constitution, he also advices Kenyans to read and understand the constitution.
I have come to realized that criticism against Dr. Willy Mutunga’s nomination is political. The non reformists in the Government, Parliament, Judiciary and Kenya at large are hiding in religion to condemn him. Those who detained him are worried he may revenge but he confirmed today he is not interested in doing that, in fact he said he does not talk about his detention. The corrupt and those with pending criminal cases are worried that they will not use their money as usual to bribe for their freedom. The fear is that it will not be "business as usual" in the coming election of 2012.
In conclusion I can say as a common mwananchi all I want is a system I can believe in. Just like MP Ekwe Ethuro said, Kenyans want a Judiciary that can judge fairly in case of a disputed Presidential election, after 2007 election the opposition did not go to court, because they knew they would not get a fair judgment. There are issues about Mr. Tobiko’s partiality, so new appointees like Dr. Mutunga and Ms Baraza should be given a chance in these important public positions.