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Kenya gets new Chief Justice

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Court of Appeal Judge Alnashir Visram has been nominated to head Kenya’s judiciary.

The appointment was announced late on Friday by President Mwai Kibaki.

The President also named Professor Githu Muigai the next Attorney General, while lawyer Kioko Kilikumi is listed as the country’s new Director of Public Prosecutions.

The names will now be forwarded to Parliament for approval.

A statement from the Presidential Press Service said the appointments had been made after consultations with Prime Minister and in accordance with the Constitution, but this was disputed by Raila Odinga’s key ally James Orengo.

Mr Orengo claimed the two principals had agreed to consult on the appointments once the President returned from the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa this weekend at a meeting they held on Thursday.

“In this circumstance there hasn’t even been horse trading but an imposition of those to be appointed,” he said

“What we are concerned about is the process. The Constitution makes it very clear that there must be consultations between the President and the Prime Minister before any appoints are made and a concurrence is agreed,” Mr Orengo added.

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A statement from the Presidential Press Service said Justice Visram graduated with a degree in law from the University of British Columbia in 1972. In 1978, he graduated with a second degree in Law from University of British Columbia, Canada. In 2006 he graduated with a Masters of Laws degree in International Law from the University of Nairobi.

“While in practice he specialised in commercial, corporate and civil law. In June 1999, he was appointed Commissioner of Assize, and in March 2001, he was sworn in as a Judge of the High Court of Kenya; and in April 2009 as Judge of Appeal.”

Professor Githu Muigai on the other hand holds LLB and PhD degrees from the University of Nairobi and an LLM Degree from Columbia University School of Law, New York. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a member of the American Association of Trial Lawyers.

“In addition to the practice of law he is an Associate Professor of Public law in the School of law of the University of Nairobi. He specialises in Public law and trans-national legal practice. He is a recognized authority on business regulatory matters and in international commercial arbitration. He is an Associate professor at the University of Nairobi and an International Human Rights Lawyer and a Constitutional lawyer.”

Kioko Kilukumi graduated with an LLB from the University of Nairobi in 1990.  Between 1990 to 1993 he worked at Kaplan and Stratton Advocates and was appointed Public Prosecutor in the Kingdom of Swaziland between 1993 and 1996.

From 1996 to date, he has been in private legal practice and a part time lecturer in criminal litigation.

The term of the current CJ ends on February 27 and a new one shall be appointed according to the new Constitution.

President Kibaki also named William Kirwa Controller of Budget.  Mr Kirwa is currently the Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Corporation.  Holds an MBA in Banking and Finance.  He previously worked with Barclays bank as a senior Manager.

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