CJ Interviews: Governor asks JSC to consider women

Thursday, April 15th, 2021 16:00 |
Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi (left) escorts Lady Justice Martha Koome (right) to the interviewing room for the Chief Justice post interviews in Nairobi. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has asked the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) panel currently interviewing candidates for the position of Chief Justice, to consider a woman for the position.

The search for David Maraga’s successor, who retired early this year yesterday entered day four. The panel has shortlisted three women for the interviews including Appellate Judge Martha Koome, law scholar Prof Patricia Mbote and Alice Yano.

Justice Koome and Prof Mbote have already appeared before the team chaired by Prof Olive Mugenda. In a press statement sent to newsrooms on Thursday, Ngilu, Who unsuccessfully vied to be President of the Republic of Kenya in 1997 noted that it is lost on Kenyans that already the other two arms of government namely, the Executive and the Legislature are headed and deputized by men.

“There could never be a better moment to have The First Woman Chief Justice in this country than right now when we are in the process of filling the position of the head of one of the three arms of Government,” she said.
According to her, since the promulgation of the 2010 constitution, the trend has been to have women deputize men as Chief Justice.

“It’s now time to have a woman leading the Judicial arm of government,” the governor held. We note that highly qualified, competent, and experienced women candidates are being interviewed for the position of Chief Justice,” she added.

Even as we head towards transition next year, the Kitui County Chief said the country should avoid excluding women from the high table conversations to shape the future of the country.

“We must always remember that Women form more than 52 percent of the total population of Kenya. No wonder this country cannot develop with 48 percent making all the important decisions sometimes convoluted and not real people driven,” she said, adding that it has been like trying to walk on one leg.

She said having women at the high table must not be an afterthought, a favor or an act of magnanimity and tokenism. “It must be an active ingredient in crafting the development framework of this nation,” she held.

Three candidates have already been interviewed, in order of appearance -Justice Juma Chitembwe, Prof Patricia Kameri Mbote, and Justice Martha Koome.

Other candidates are Justice Said Chitembwe, Justice Martha Koome, Philip Kipchirchi Murgor, Prof Patricia Mbote, Justice Nduma Nderi, Senior Counsel Fredrick Ngatia, William Ouko, Moni Wekesa and Alice Jepkoech.
The interviews are on until April 23.

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