NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 –Outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga is set to hand over the instruments of power on Monday to the acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu ahead of his retirement on Tuesday.
The Judiciary in an emailed statement to newsrooms on Sunday said the Supreme Court will also convene a session at 9.30am to honour Maraga who is also the President of the highest court in the land with an exclusive jurisdiction on presidential election petitions.
“Monday 11th January is CJ Maraga’s last day in office. In this respect, the Supreme Court will hold a special court ceremony/tribute in his honour at 9:30am,” the statement read.
Mwilu is expected to continue performing judicial, administrative and ceremonial duties provided for under the Constitution until a substantive Chief Justice is appointed.
She also becomes the first woman in Kenya to hold the Chief Justice position albeit in an acting capacity.
Maraga has had a challenging tenure with the Executive arm of government challenging his decisions and those of the Supreme Court openly in the public.
On numerous occasions, Maraga had also accused the Executive of under-funding the Judiciary and had asked legislators to consider increasing funding to the Judiciary to ease service delivery to citizens.
He recommended the capping of Judiciary’s allocation to 1.5 per cent of the national budget and championed for the establishment of the Judiciary Funds to ensure judicial autonomy.
Just as his retirement day was nearing, Maraga had advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact laws on the elusive two-thirds gender rule.
Maraga took over as the country’s Chief Justice in 2016 after the early retirement of his predecessor, Willy Mutunga.
He defeated Justices Smokin Wanjala, Alnashir Visram, Roselyne Nambuye, Mbogholi Msagha and eminent lawyer Philip Nzamba Kitonga in the recruitment process, to secure the job.