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April 22, 2021 | Prof Dr Dr Moni Wekesa appears before the Judicial Service Commission for an interview for the position of Chief Justice/Judiciary Media Service

Kenya

Wekesa defends ‘borderline’ experience amid concerns over jurisprudential deficit

Wekesa was the ninth candidate to be interviewed for the CJ position which fell vacant when David Maraga retired in January

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 22 — Legal scholar Prof Dr Dr Moni Wekesa Thursday defended his ‘borderline’ legal experience after a panelist in the Judicial Service Commission noted he had just accrued a year above the 15 years of experience required of a Chief Justice.

Wekesa was the ninth candidate to be interviewed for the CJ position which fell vacant when David Maraga retired in January.

He told the JSC that despite his seemingly limited experience in the legal sector, he had acquired immense leadership skills as a university dean and a sports administrator that placed him above other candidates who have as much as 30 years of legal experience.

Prof Wekesa was responding to concerns raised by commissioner Macharia Njeru that he appeared to be more experienced and proficient in sports administration compared to the legal sector.

The scholar, currently the Dean of Law School at Daystar University, has two doctorate degrees in two different academic fields, two different master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees.

“One of the things I bring to the table very strongly is leadership, I have been a manager for special Olympics Internationally in charge of Africa, in that role, I worked with very many sub-Saharan countries doing a lot of diplomacies and where I handled various challenges,” he added.

The university don is well known in the sporting circles, locally and internationally, having served as executive secretary of Kenya Football Federation, manager in charge of Africa Special Olympics, sports medicine consultant, Africa Doping officer for Federation of International Football Associations, and a member of the disciplinary committee of the International Athletics Federation.

The 62-year old also admitted that none of his cases had an impact on the development of jurisprudence in Kenya noting that most of them were handled at the High Court.

“Most of my cases ended at high court I cannot say they have a major impact on jurisprudence in Kenya,” he responded to Njeru who was concerned that the JSC would risk hiring a physical education specialist to Judiciary.

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Wekesa said he would work to mend relationships between the Judiciary and other arms of government if appointed Chief Justice.

The law professor said that he would also focus on enhancing the relationship between the judiciary and the public and other professionals countrywide

In order to enhance public communication with the Judiciary, Wekesa noted that he would appoint a Judiciary Spokesperson and elevate the communication department to a fully fledged directorate.

“This would be the person to give a press conference, issue press releases and deal with communication issues hands-on, we should also bring musiciains to compose songs on messages of judiciary, delayed judgements, disobedience of court orders and other things so that people are aware of the goings on in the Judiciary,” he added.

“I want the Judiciary to be people-driven so much that when courts are not functioning, its the people who pile pressure for normalcy to return,” Prof Wekesa asserted.

He described himself as a transformative leader whose success is evident in his teaching practice, sports management, administration, and law practice.

“I am a good communicator, I am good at problem-solving, I listen and engage with others, I pay attention to other’s views, I build teams and bring the best in other people,” he said.

Prof Wekesa began his career as a teacher with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Nairobi in 1981 before proceeding to Germany, where he obtained a Master’s in Sports Medicine in 1986 and a PhD in the same field in 1989.

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