Job seeker Aaron Ringera wants to sue because he was not invited for Supreme Court jobs interview.
The former Court of Appeal judge accused the Judicial Service Commission of condemning him unheard by its failure to short list him for the Supreme Court job interviews slated for next week. (READ: Top judges miss Supreme Court jobs)
“Please draw the attention of the commission to these grave and constitutional matters that may, at my option, be ventilated in another forum,” he says in a letter to JSC secretary Lydia Achode last Monday.
In response, the JSC said that Justice Ringera’s tenure at the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission ended in controversy raising doubts on his commitment to principles and values of the new Constitution.
“You also voluntarily retired from the Judiciary and have not given credible reason for wanting to be re-employed,” the commission said.
On Wednesday, JSC member Ahmednasir Abdullahi defended the commission’s decision:
“The position the judge applied for is not anybody’s birthright. The era of entitlement is over. Kenyans should outgrow the culture of entitlement and embrace a new culture of fair competition.”
He added: “There were many qualified Kenyans who applied for the five vacancies and the commission has written to Ringera on why he did not meet the cut.”
But Justice Ringera faulted the commission’s argument that his departure was controversial and questioned the rationale of short listing one of his deputies who resigned in similar circumstances.
He said he preferred to leave his options open with an understanding that the commissioners were able to make “good judgment” on the issues he had raised.
“If it is a matter of a nice retirement job, I’m comfortable,” he said.
Justice Ringera, who used to earn about Sh2.5 million a month as director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, was categorical that he was qualified for the Supreme Court job.
On his exit from the anti-graft commission in September 2009, he took home a package of nearly Sh25 million.
In addition, he is entitled to 24-hour state security at his home, a bodyguard, driver and an official vehicle fuelled and maintained by the government — all for 10 years from the date of his retirement.
He described the reasons for his rejection as “disingenuous.” “The commission has condemned me unheard and my right to natural justice has been violated,” he said.
He added: “An otherwise qualified candidate has been shut out of the interview process with the result that constitutional values for fair competition, equal opportunity and fair administrative action has been subverted.”
When the JSC announced names of those short-listed for interviews two weeks ago, Justice Ringera said he was shocked at the exclusion and thought that his application might have been “misplaced or found wanting”.