Justice Maraga Retirement: Hands power to Acting CJ Justice Philomena Mwilu

CJ David Maraga retires. Image/Courtesy
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Chief Justice David Maraga retires as the 15th Chief Justice of Kenya and officially handed over judicial power to acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwili today at a special ceremony at the Supreme Court buildings. The disrobing of the judicial attires signified the end of his tenure as the Chief Justice to a civilian.

The acting CJ is expected to take charge and judicial powers until the next CJ is appointed. Justice Maraga has urged Kenyans to support the acting CJ until his predecessor is appointed to charge of the judicial services in the country.

CJ maraga took charge of the judiciary in 2016 after an early retirement of Dr. Willy Mutunga as the CJ of the country after beating Justices Smokin Wanjala, Professor Makau Mutua, Alnashir Visram,Roselyne Nambuye and the late senior Counsel Philip Kitonga.

The acting CJ however has had issues after a petition was filed of blocking her to be the acting CJ following the corruption allegations leveled against her and her appointment as the acting Chief Justice. She responded saying her case is received by the JSC and that cannot prevent her from exciting her judicial services.

"My case cannot be any different. A judge’s personal integrity does not diminish or end nor does the judge cease being suitable to continue serving on account of pending complaints for removal,” she says in her affidavit.

However, CJ Maraga's leadership as the head of Judiciary has not been a smooth on for the 6 years he had been in office. He once accused the government of frustrating and hindering the judicial operations. With many political analysts terming his frustrations having a Genesis after the nullification of the 2017 August general elections. After president Uhuru Kenyatta's remark "we shall revisit".

He accused the executive of underfunding the judiciary and urged demanded an increase in finding of the judiciary to make court operations run smoothly like other government bodies. The president however replied saying that when they increase the tax to be able to find the demands made by the judiciary the same judiciary rejects.

He further accused president Uhuru of halting the appointment of 41 judges proposed by the judicial service on July 2019 in August last year. The refusal by the president to swear in the judges despite court orders requiring him to act so in 14 days paralysed court operations in the country and increase in case logs at the courts.

Maraga also accused the Executive of continuously disregarding court orders and willfully neglecting to settle dozens of decrees issued by various courts against the Government.

In his leadership Justice David Maraga apart from nullifying the August elections, he will also be remembered for advising the President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament, in line with Article 261(7) of the Constitution, for its failure to enact legislation on the two-thirds gender rule.

Despite the challenges he faces during his reign, Justice Maraga acknowledges that he retires a happy man and urged his predecessor in doing the right thing they will have the support of Kenyans.

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