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Why Uhuru blocked Muchelule’s appointment to Court of Appeal

By John Kamau, Editor, (

One of the Judges the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment to serve in the Court of Appeal was Justice Aggrey Muchelule.

But the President refused to forward his name for appointment due to various reasons. can now reveal the reasons why the President refused to nominate Muchelule for appointment to the Court of Appeal.

This was after the President got intelligence briefs linking Muchelule to drug kingpins - Baktash Akasha and his brother Ibrahim Akasha -  and even going to an extent of becoming the two crooks’ business associate.

According to court filing in New York, the Akashas while pleading for lenient sentence revealed how Muchelule as a judge helped them to defeat the cause of justice. 
The two brothers whose star witness in convicting them was their long-time associate, Vijay Goswami told the New York court that Muchelule received millions of shillings in kickbacks from them and in turn helped them get court orders to frustrate their extradition to the United States to face heroin trafficking charges. 
Muchelule’s name, according to the intelligence briefs, featured prominently in the list provided by Goswami on dates, places and names of people the Akashas did business with and the officials they bribed in Kenya to allow their drug empire to grow. 
In his over 3,500 pages of testimony spanning the years between 2009 and 2017, Goswami revealed the names of those who helped the Akashas to defeat the cause of justice and the claims were corroborated by the two brothers.

Besides Muchelule, others adversely named by Goswami as accomplices included lawyer Cliff Ombeta, judge Dora Chepkwony (who was stationed in Mombasa) and judge Chacha Mwita (who allegedly offered judicial protection) and Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu (allegedly involved in a money laundering racket through a third party). 

Goswami revealed that during the annual colloquium by Judiciary in the Coastal city of Mombasa, some judges used the meetings to get kickbacks from the Akashas in return for favourable rulings.

Three months ago, Muchelule and Said Chitembwe  were interrogated by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for two hours before being set free.

The two were nabbed during a raid of their offices before being transferred to DCI headquarters located along Kiambu Road.

They were arrested alongside their drivers as well as secretaries.

One of the judges reportedly pocketed a bribe of Sh5 million in a case that was to be determined on Thursday, July 22.

The other was accused of receiving a piece of land related to a case he determined. The case is ongoing.

Again on February 5, 2007, Muchelule and another senior magistrate’s swearing-in as judges was dramatically stopped at the last minute after then President Mwai Kibaki was handed a dossier implicating him on corruption.

The swearing-in of Muchelule, who was  then Nairobi Chief Magistrate and his Eldoret counterpart, Florence Muchemi, as judges-designate was cancelled as they waited to be sworn-in by President Kibaki at State House, Nairobi. 

Also to have been sworn in on the same day as a judge was former Constitution of Kenya Review Commission chairperson Abida Ali-Aroni.

Muchelule was then moved to Embu as chief magistrate and Muchemi to Naivasha.

After the failed ceremony, Muchelule and Muchemi were asked to proceed on leave while Ms Aroni remained in her law firm.

At the time, Muchelule was handling prominent cases, including the Sh5.8 billion theft and conspiracy case involving the Goldenberg scandal, which had dragged in courts for years.

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