Uhuru appoints Martha Koome as Chief Justice

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Chief Justice Martha Koome
Chief Justice Martha Koome

President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed Martha Koome as the Chief Justice after the National Assembly approved her nomination on Wednesday afternoon.

The head of State gazetted Justice Koome to head the Judiciary for a non-renewable 10-year term, succeeding David Maraga who retired in January.

Koome, who has an experience of 33 years in the legal field, was one of 10 applicants interviewed to succeed former Chief Justice David Maraga.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) approved her appointment in a special session, paving the way for The National Assembly debate.

Committee’s chair Muturi Kigano, expressed trust in Koome’s ability to transform the judiciary and rid it of corruption.

“Koome is a wife, mother and comes from a firm family background, her wide experience in family law, children rights will be priceless, she also has a vision to revolutionize judiciary and eliminate corruption,” the committee’s chair.

The Lady Justice is set to become the first Female Chief Justice and 15th in the history of Kenya succeeding David Maraga who retired after serving for four years

Lady Justice Koome pursued her law degree at the University of Nairobi where she graduated in 1986 before proceeding to the Kenya School of Law the following year.

She set up her private legal practice in 1988, then later joined the Judiciary in 2003 and practiced across various stations all over the country, during which time she also served as a council member of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

She proceeded to the University of London where she completed her Master’s degree (LL.M) in Public International Law in 2010.

In 2011, she was elevated to the Court of Appeal and, in September that same year, she was elected the Chairperson of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association.

Lady Justice Koome has, throughout her over three-decade career, distinguished herself as a champion for the rights of women and the welfare of children.

She at one time served as the Chairperson of the National Council on the Administration of Justice special taskforce on children matters where she helped steer the review of the Children’s Act.

These, among her other efforts on the welfare of children, last year earned her a nod as the runner-up for the 2020 UN in Kenya Person of the Year.