BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,19THG MAY 2021- The National Assembly by majority has Wednesday approved the appointment of Justice Martha as Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.
This follows the approval of her nomination by the Justice and Legal Affairs committee (JLAC) during a special house sitting gazetted by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.
” Having confirmed that we have the requisite numbers, I proceed to put the question that the House approves the appointment of Justice Martha Koome as Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. – Hon. Moses Cheboi
” Justice Koome is a woman and let us not shy away from embracing her as a woman and saying that today we’re proud that we have her as a nominee for Chief Justice. Not just for her but for the many women in this country, the girl child and the women that aspire to be leaders. What I like about Martha Koome is the fact that she’s very humble, extremely humble, she has integrity, she’d grounded and she’s compassionate.” Hon. Esther M Passaris
During the tabling and debate of JLAC Report earlier, this is what the members had to say.
“The approval is governed by Section 7 of the Parliamentary Approval Act. And the three issues we look at is the procedure adopted by the interviewing panels, the Constitutional and Statutory suitability and suitability in terms of experience and competence.” said Hon. TJ Kajwang
He added; ” The people before Justice Koome took a rather condescending attitude to the National Assembly arguing that they could not come to the jurisdiction of the National Assembly to make reports. They would rather send the registrar. We would want to see a Chief Justice who respects institutions and one day she would write to you Mr Speaker to allow her to come and commend herself to the National Assembly.”
” The committee unanimously endorsed the approval of Lady Justice Martha Koome for appointment by His Excellency the President to become the next Chief Justice of the Republic. She will be seeking to reclaim lost glory for the judiciary in line with the principles that were for a long time enunciated by the late Justice Chunilal Madan.” Hon. Muturi Kigano
Adding that; “She will critically think beyond Maraga advisory by invoking the principle that the law serves man and humanity and not the reverse. That the law is not static, must be actualized in a manner that contributes to good order. We found that she’s able to think outside the box and she would not be living in a judicial island. She aspires to do substantial justice other than delving on technical formalities.”
The Speaker is now expected to communicate to the President the decision for formal appointment.
Judicial Service Commission unanimously selected, Martha Koome and forwarded her name to President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 27, beating 10 other candidates who were interviewed for the position of Chief Justice.
As a result of her nomination, Kenya is poised to get it’s first ever female Chief Justice to replace, David Maraga, who attained the retirement age of 70 in January.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC), a constitutional body mandated to oversee all matters of the judiciary – including the selection of Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court – settled on Koome after a rigorous interview session that lasted six hours.
Lady Justice Koome, who was vetted by the Committee on Thursday last week, now comes one step closer to succeeding retired CJ David Maraga.