The search for the Deputy Chief Justice continued today with the candidates exhibiting confidence in the mannerism in which they took on the JSC panel. Justice Sichale Fatuma and Lady Justice Hannah Magondi Okwengu were the second pair to appear before the panel. The two of them were taken to task over a number of issues that seem to be affecting the judiciary system currently and have also been there in the past.
They were questioned on matters to do with jurisdiction, corruption, and a backlog of files, issues which have taken centre stage in the vetting process so far. Justice Sichale Fatuma, who has in the past played a deputising role in the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission was very passionate about getting rid of corruption within the judiciary system.
She mentioned carrying out an evaluation, acting on reports and interrogating where the loopholes are within the judiciary, and where necessary, name and shame those involved in the corruption allegations. If a breach is found JSC will recommend a tribunal to conduct a tribunal.
She said, “We need to improve access to the judiciary, restore public confidence and enhance prudent management of finance through embracing ICT.”
Lady Justice Hannah Magondi emphasized on judicial accountability especially on the part of judicial officers and workers being servants of the people.
Lady Justice Hannah Magondi, who described herself as being both a problem solver and team player, has served in the judiciary for the longest time right from the lowest cadre to the highest cadre and has been on various committees within the judiciary with the most recent being coming up with a guidebook.
Lady Justice Hannah Magondi who is also a strong Christian believer did say, “The state has no right to interfere with religion unless it interferes with other people’s rights.”
The guidebook is aimed at making it easier for criminals to understand what they are likely to face once they get to court and offer guidance.
Both candidates, however, stated that the judiciary transformation process has worked to some extent but still needs to engage well with Wanjiku by putting in place communication initiatives and implementing them.