NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23- The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has welcomed the Judicial Service Commission decision to nominate Justice David Maraga as the next Chief Justice, saying he’s cut out for the job.
LSK Vice President Faith Waigwa, in an interview with Capital News on Friday, described Judge Maraga as an insider, best fit for the job since he understands the nitty gritty of the Judiciary and has as earned respect from his colleagues.
“He has all the attributes that are required for a Chief Justice… the other aspect is that he is an insider in terms of being part of the Judiciary,” she said.
“Justice Mutunga was an outsider and came with new ideas that were not known in the Judiciary. We expect that Justice Maraga will come up with ideas based on what he knows the Judiciary requires.”
According to Waigwa: “Justice Maraga has respect for his colleagues. He is very humble and is able to relate with his officers, judges and even lawyers quite well.”
Among the things Judge Maraga should carry on from his predecessor according to Waigwa include the digitization of the Judiciary, specifically the files and improvement of facilities to ensure justice is accessible to all Kenyans.
She says graft remains a major challenge in the Judiciary and the new CJ must take advantage of the good will he has received from the public to crack the whip on the rogue elements.
“Corruption war must be sustained from all ends. I cannot say the situation is very bad but we still have complains here and there,” she said. “We need to adopt a culture of transparency, accountability and openness. The moment we do that, then we are going to be able to fight corruption because everything will be on the forefront.”
Justice Maraga will have a smooth sail in a Parliament since he has nothing holding him back, she said.
Being a good Judge will not be enough according to Waigwa, who advises Justice Maraga to build networks in all agencies within the criminal justice system specifically the National Police Service, Ethics and Anti-Corruption, Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, LSK and the civil society.
But even with this, Waigwa urges the CJ nominee to ensure the independence of Judiciary is never interfered with.
“We need a Judiciary where Judges are not being controlled by any other individual other than his knowledge of law and the evidence put before it. We need a Judiciary that is not out to fight the public or fight unnecessarily against other arms of Government.