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Shollei at pains to prove ability for judicial post

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Gladys Shollei was interviewed for the post of Deputy Chief Justice on Wednesday and was at pains to prove that her experience was sufficient for the top judicial job.

Mrs Shollei was put to task by Judicial Service Commissioner Ahmednassir Abdilahi who charged that her credentials were more of an IT administrator and manager which may prove to be secondary in revamping Kenya\’s ailing Judiciary.

"Considering your background, you cannot improve the primary deficiencies of the justice system of this country as the deputy Chief Justice," he charged.

"Political manipulation of the process, lack of independence, lack of resources, all those are the issues why the Judiciary is where it is, it is not because we do not have a good IT system; of course we do not have good IT systems but that is just secondary," he continued.

But Mrs Shollei, who holds a Masters Degree in law, said the Judiciary required a systems overhaul to overcome the workload associated with writing of judgments adding that her experience placed her at a good position to inject fresh ideas in the justice system.

"When you have delayed judgments… when you have loss of files, if you want to solve that which is your primary business, then you have to use Microsoft. If the action plan requires us to use Microsoft, so be it," she said.

Prior to joining the IIEC, Mrs Shollei worked as the Editor and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council for Law Reporting, where she spearheaded the online publication of court rulings.

She cited her experience there as indication that she understood what was required to reform the Judiciary.

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"I can\’t confidently say that I will have the ability to write judgments. You don\’t have to have written judgments for 10 years to be able to write a good judgment, you just need to have an understanding of the law," she said.

Mrs Shollei is also a Certified Public Secretary.

Lady Justice Mary Kassango appeared before the panel on Wednesday afternoon.  Four more candidates are expected before the commission which targets to complete the interviews on Thursday.

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