Controversial Professor Makau Mutua, Retired judge Aaron Ringera and Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang were among candidates who were kicked out of the race to become Kenya’s next chief justice.

The list was whittled down from 14 applicants after the vacancy was announced following Dr Mutunga’s exit last month.

Five judges and a former chairman of a team that wrote the Constitution were shortlisted. They included Judges Smokin Wanjala (Supreme Court), Alnashir Visram (Court of Appeal), Roselyne Nambuye (Court of Appeal), David Maraga (Court of Appeal), Msagha Mbogholi (High Court) and Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga, who chaired the Committee of Experts that wrote the Constitution, are in the running to head the Judiciary.

Others who were eliminated in the shortlisting exercise included lawyer David Waihiga who also lost in the race to become chairman of Central Bank of Kenya two years ago, Lucy Wanja, a commissioner at the Commission for University Education, the Principal Administrative Secretary in Deputy President William Ruto’s office, Daniel Wambura, and lawyers Kongani Kongani and Paul Andrew.