NAIROBI, July 5 – Florence Jaoko has taken over from Maina Kiai as the chairperson of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) following elections on Saturday.,
KNCHR Communications Officer Victor Bwire said that Jaoko was elected by 9 commissioners.
Kiai earlier this year opted not to seek a renewal of his term.
Jaoko who was previously the Vice Chair becomes the second chairperson and first woman to sit at the helm of the commission.
Commissioner Hassan Omar Hassan was elected Vice Chairman.
Outgoing chairman Kiai has had a controversial tenure which has seen him often ending up on opposite sides with key government figures including cabinet minister Martha Karua and Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali.
Kiai said failure by people in government to understand the commission’s work was a major challenge.
Jaoko who is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya was first appointed as KNHCR commissioner in July, 2003 and has served as acting Vice Chairperson since 2007.
Prior to joining the National Commission, Jaoko was a lecturer at the University of Nairobi and the Kenya School of Law.
She has served as a Magistrate and a Principal Deputy Registrar of the High Court of Kenya and has extensive experience in judicial and human rights training.
Jaoko is a member of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya Chapter), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA, Kenya Chapter), and International Association of Refugee Judges.