President Uhuru Kenyatta has gazetted the appointment of Justice Martha Koome as the Chief Justice of Kenya following her earlier approval by the National Assembly .
In a Gazette notice on Wednesday, the president appointed Koome hours after she was approved by the National Assembly.
Members of the National Assembly unanimously voted to approve the report of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that recommended her approval to succeed retired CJ David Maraga.
Koome becomes the first woman to serve as the CJ in the country.
JSC had unanimously agreed to nominate Koome as the next Chief Justice in April after a competitive recruitment exercise.
Koome has 33 years of experience in legal practice under her belt and a significant portion of those years has been in public service as a defender of human rights.
She is an acclaimed expert in family law and she takes a keen interest in children which earned her a recent recognition by the United Nations where she was named the UN person of the year run-up in 2020.
During the debate on Wednesday in the National Assembly, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo described Koome as a person who is very focused, targeted, and very clear on the things she stands for.
“Let us have a lady justice Chief Justice and a lady Deputy Chief Justice who is another woman. Let us not haunt out the other woman out of office.”
Millie added that:
“She is also passionate about the things I am passionate about. She is passionate about women’s rights and she is passionate about children’s rights… I can vouch for her competence.”
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris said Kenya should not shy away from embracing Justice Koome.
“… let us not shy away from embracing her as a woman and saying that today we’re proud that we have her as a nominee for Chief Justice,” she said.
“Not just for her but for the many women in this country, the girl child and the women that aspire to be leaders.”
The Judiciary is now firmly run by females – acting CJ (Philomena Mwilu); Vice Chair JSC (Olive Mugenda); acting President Court of Appeal (Wanjiru Karanja); Principal Judge, High Court ( Lydia Achode ); Principal Judge, ELRC, (Maureen Onyango); Judiciary Chief Registrar (Anne Amadi); Registrar, High Court (Judy Omange); Registrar Supreme Court (Esther Nyaiyaki); Registrar JSC (Frida Mokaya).
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