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April 14, 2021 | Lady Justice Koome Martha Karambu appearing before the JSC for her interview for the position of Chief Justice.

Kenya

Uhuru sends name of CJ nominee Koome to Parliament for vetting

NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday submitted the name of Chief Justice nominee Martha Koome to Parliament paving way for her vetting.

Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi relayed the President’s message to the House a day after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) nominated her from the list of ten interviewed.

Consequently, Muturi directed the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) to commence the approval hearings and table a report before the House on or before May 25 for debate and the subsequent decision in the House.

“I wish to guide the Committee and the House as follows, the Committee should notify the nominee and the general public of the time and place for holding the approval hearings expeditiously. The notification should therefore, be made immediately,” he said.  

The Speaker added, “Although the Committee and the House have twenty-eight days to consider and make a decision on the nomination, in view of the compelling public interest and the unique place of the office of the Chief Justice within our constitutional and legal order, the Committee is requested to consider the nomination on a priority basis.”

JSC in a unanimous vote Tuesday, nominated Koome for the Chief Justice post setting the stage for her to become Kenyans first female Chief Justice and the third under the current 2010 Constitution.  

Koome who has a full in-tray once she gets appointed has since thanked JSC for the nomination and assured that she will do her best to deliver services to Kenyans.

“It will indeed be an honour and a great privilege for me to serve this great country as the Chief Justice if confirmed to the office. I appreciate this was after a thorough, rigorous and a very competitive process that saw some of the best legal minds come forward as capable candidates demonstrating their willingness to serve Kenyans,” she said.

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Koome trounced nine other candidates who had expressed interest for the position that was left vacant following the retirement of David Maraga in January 2021 on attaining the retirement age of 70.

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