, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 22 – Court of Appeal Judge Kalpana Rawal has been nominated to be Kenya’s new Deputy Chief Justice.
Rawal will now be vetted by next Parliament, before she is appointed new DCJ by the next president after nomination by Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Making the announcement, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga cited experience in judicial matters as the key factor that placed Rawal above four other applicants who had been interviewed for the job.
“Justice Rawal is an experienced, distinguished and well grounded judge with a clear view of the institution of the Judiciary. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the office acquired over a 40 year sojourn in the legal profession,” said Mutunga.
He said Justice Rawal would be an important supportive asset to the office of the Chief Justice and the entire Judiciary.
“Justice Rawal evinces mature, patient and humble disposition which are qualities necessary for the office off the DCJ,” he said.
Others who were interviewed included former Law Society of Kenya chairman and High Commission Raychelle Omamo, Former FIDA chairperson Joyce Majiwa, Lucy Muthoni Kambuni and academician Phoebe Nyawade.
Rawal, who is the head of the commission investigating the helicopter crash that killed former Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, his assistant Minister Orwa Ojode and others, was interviewed on Monday afternoon.
During her interview with the JSC, Rawal said she was the most experienced to replace Nancy Baraza after serving in the Judiciary for many years.
She has also chaired several other commissions arguing that her rich experience will boost the work of the Judiciary if she is selected the next DCJ.
Rawal had attempted to get the position in 2012 before it was awarded to Nancy Baraza, who later resigned.
Baraza had been accused of assaulting a guard at the Village Market, eliciting a lot of criticism.
The Judicial Service Commission then wrote to President Mwai Kibaki asking him to set up a Tribunal to investigate the claims against Baraza and also suspend her before to pave way for investigations.
The Tribunal found her guilty and recommended for her dismissal from office but Baraza opted to appeal against the decision before eventually choosing to resign.