The MP further called for an overhaul of various judicial procedures, arguing that the justice system in the country was designed to breed corruption.
Maraga has been locked in a battle with President Uhuru Kenyatta over the appointment of 41 judges, with Maraga accusing the President of disobeying court orders and delaying justice for Kenyans.
Referring to a petition he filed in 2017 at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) questioning the integrity of Supreme Court judges, Wambugu noted that he had never received a response.
He filed the petition after the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s election victory by the Supreme Court on September 1, 2019 claiming some of the judges secretly met Uhuru’s rivals in the opposition before making the decision.
“I filed a highly-publicised petition with the JSC against CJ David Maraga in 2017. To this day I have never received a response from them. This tells you a lot about how transparently they conduct themselves,” he wrote.
Wambugu also questioned the composition of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), calling for the creation of a civilian-led oversight authority similar to the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA).
“The Judiciary is made up of over 75% lawyers – at every level including the JSC. This is absurd when you consider that even the police service is managed by a body chaired by a civilian. (The JSC is chaired by a lawyer – the CJ),” Wambugu observed.
The lawmaker described the judiciary as a ‘market place for lawyers’, calling for a radical overhaul to ensure it serves ordinary Kenyans.
“The Judiciary is currently nothing but a place of business for the ~17,000 lawyers in Kenya. We must make sure that it becomes – in reality – one of the three arms of a government that serves ~50M people.
“We therefore need a structure that ensures that it serves the millions of non-lawyers in Kenya, and stops just being a market place for lawyers,” he noted.
Wambugu also disclosed that in Parliament, there was an unspoken rule that members of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) were drawn from lawyers.
The powerful watchdog committee is responsible for oversight of legal and constitutional matters in the country.
In addition, he called for the establishment of a jury system in Kenya to reduce cases of bribery among Judges and Magistrates.
A jury system involves a number of people, usually twelve, sitting in criminal and civil events to make decisions on matters of facts. It is differentiated from a bench trial in which a judge or panel of judges makes the decisions.
“Even in Parliament, there is an unspoken rule that JLAC – the Justice & Legal Affairs Committee – which oversights the Judiciary, must comprise mainly of MPs who are lawyers, and, be chaired by a lawyer. (Why? It represents the people overseeing the lawyers!)
“Finally – the level of corruption in this country is best seen at the Judiciary. That is why it is said ‘why hire a lawyer if you can buy a judge?’. For justice to be seen to be done, and to be actually done, Kenya needs to introduce a jury system. Let’s make corrupting justice harder,” Wambugu maintained.