NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21-The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has urged Chief Justice Martha Koome to protect the independence of the Judiciary.
Koome took over office Friday, making history as the first woman to occupy the post. She takes over from David Maraga who retired in January on attaining the mandatory 70 years.
In a statement, the Law Society of Kenya said the new CJ is taking over the leadership mantle of the Judiciary at a time when there is increased impunity and attacks on judicial officers by parties dissatisfied with court orders.
LSK Chief Executive Officer Mercy Wambua said lawyers will support her in the quest to promote “judicial independence, constitutionalism, access to justice and advancement of the rule of law.”
She noted that Koome’s appointment is a historic milestone, being the first female Chief Justice.
“This demonstrates the commitment by the Country to ensure the attainment of Kenya’s constitutional gender equality and one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015,” she said, “It is indeed not a mean feat to be the first female Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.”
The LSK boss further urged the new Chief Justice to prioritize the realization of sustainable administration through completion of the Judicial transformation journey, digitization, devolution and improved infrastructure.
“The obligations on her in-tray need to not to be re-emphasized. We are confident that she has the knowledge, skill, diligence and the correct temperament demonstrable from her illustrious career, the testimonials of colleagues in the profession, her exemplary performance during the televised interviews undertaken by the Judicial Service Commission, and subsequent vetting by Parliament,” she said.
When Koome took oath of office at State Hous, Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta challenged her to uphold the Constitution as she begins her tenure in office.
The Head of State, who witnessed Koome’s swearing in and that of Supreme Court Judge William Ouko, challenged the duo to work with integrity as they assume their respective offices.
“Mine is just to remind you of the oath that you have taken and to impartially do justice in accordance with this constitution as by law established and laws and customs of the republic without any fear, favour, bias, ill-will, affection, prejudice and any political or religious influence in the exercise in the judicial functions entrusted to you and that at all times you will protect, administer and defend the constitution,” President Kenyatta told them.
The Head of State noted that he was honored to be Kenya’s first President to swear in Koome as the country’s first female Chief Justice.
He assured the duo of the Executive’s support as they deliver on their mandate to Kenyans.