High Court Judge, Justice David Onyancha who is seeking early retirement from the judiciary.


Commercial Division Judge David Onyancha will no longer handle cases in the High court after he threw in the towel at age 73.

It is following intense pressure from the Judicial Service Commission requiring him to leave at age 70 under the current constitutional dispensation.

The judge challenged the decision in the high court which decided that he among others, Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Supreme Court Judge Phillip Tunoi should retire.

A bench of high court judges agreed with the JSC ruling that the judges should leave. However their decision was appealed and is pending determination at the court of appeal.

Justice Onyancha in a letter dated January 27 officially informed the President of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga that he was requesting for an early retirement.

In the letter he said that he intended to go home at the end of the month, February 2016.

“I hereby firmly indicate that I will retire at the end of February as aforementioned whether or not the pending suit has been completed. That, once more will be without prejudice to parties rights, if any arising from the said suit,” read the letter.

Justice Onyancha said that he had earlier sent another letter to the CJ but did not get any response. He thus asked the CJ to give him response and allow him to proceed on leave as he cannot take up hearing of new cases.

Judge Onyancha has also had political ambitions having served for two terms as a Member of Parliament for West Mugirango Constituency between 1983 and 1992.

In March last year, Judge Onyancha pulled out of defamation suit against anti-graft Czar and ex-PS John Githongo which was filed by former powerful internal security minister Dr Chris Murungaru.

This became Kenya’s biggest government scandal on security contracts dubbed the Anglo-leasing scandal.

“An attempt to interfere with my judicial discretion and independence has been made in this case. After giving the issue sufficient considerations I have decided to cease presiding in further proceedings,” Judge Onyancha said in March.

Dr Murungaru in the case says that as a result of the Githongo dossier on the scandal, he failed to recapture his political sit and his reputation was damaged in his political backyard and was banned from travelling to European countries.