Cotu goes to court over swearing-in of judges
The umbrella workers’ union has filed a suit in court seeking the swearing-in of five industrial court judges.
Cotu (the Central Organisation of Trade Unions) wants the court to compel the Head of Public Service and the Attorney-General to swear in the judges the way the High Court judges were sworn in.
The union says failure to take the oath of office has resulted in unfair treatment and discrimination against the judges.
The judges — Justices Stewart Madzayo, Charles Chemuttut, Paul Kosgey, James Nyika and Isaack Mukinya — were employed by the Public Service Commission on five-year contracts.
High Court judge Mohammed Warsame yesterday directed that the Judicial Service Commission, which employs judges, be made party to the proceedings.
He further directed that the terms of employment and tenure of office of the five judges should not be interfered with pending the determination of the case.
The JSC recently advertised for 15 judges for the Industrial Court, a move criticised by Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli, who said it implied the incumbents had been unlawfully dismissed.
Cotu lawyer Judy Guserwa told the court that a swearing-in ceremony had been scheduled for March 29, 2011 but was called off indefinitely without explanation.
The AG says Cotu has no capacity to sue on behalf of the judges and its case should be dismissed.
The case will be mentioned next Thursday.