Eyes on Koome for desired efficiency at Judiciary
It has been said that be careful what you wish for; you might just get it. To the unschooled in matters of life, these would at first sound like empty words. But no! The statement is pregnant with meaning.
They are words of caution to dreamers, those who seek to achieve their highest potential.
One such person is the first ever woman Chief Justice (CJ)in Kenya, Martha Koome.
Not that Lady Justice Koome became CJ by fluke. To the contrary, the tough-as-nails lady has risen to the pinnacle of the legal career through vision and sheer determination.
It is not that she was given any preferential treatment or expected such a privilege simply by virtue of being a woman.
Indeed, the ‘feminist’ tag did not hold any water when fielding questions during the interviews for the position. Koome is a fighter, as real as they come!
The Bible says, to those who much is given, much is expected. One tag that she cannot wriggle out from, is that of a mother.
And, like any caring mother, Koome has taken the role of a protector of vulnerable siblings against the bullying by those who are stronger or older. Basically, that is the role of any true and fair justice system.
Koome will appreciate the fact that, and has admitted as much, she has risen from a humble background. It is definitely food for thought.
What if she had not been given a chance by various gatekeepers along her journey from elementary school, not just because of her gender, but even from the fact that she was not part of her cohort’s in-group?
What am I talking about? Getting back to wishes, it is the fact that Koome has been placed at the helm of justice dispensation by destiny. It is now time for her to walk the talk. Even though talk is cheap, it is not going to be a walk in the park.
There are thousands of Kenyans behind bars simply because they could not afford the cost of defending themselves in a partial judicial system.
They are victims of a system that is fully awake to one’s financial and social status. Those who cannot afford to grease the hands of corrupt dispensers of justice.
Am referring to victims of might over right. As the custodian of natural justice, Koome should be sensitive to the hapless members of society who face injustice on a daily basis by institutions who believe they can run roughshod over the rights of those they deem as insignificant, or as irritants, in their lofty scheme of things.
Already, the CJ has fired the first salvo by telling the Legislature to keep to their lane.
It is a war I know she will relish if the politicians decide to take her on. No one expects utopia in the country’s justice system in the near future.
However, we can start to exhale and dare to hope for some seismic shift regarding how the poor and powerless are treated in the courts as Koome starts draining the swamp of lethargy and corruption.
Like the late Transport Minister John Michuki and his latter day counterpart Fred Matiang’i have clearly shown, change can come.
Koome should create a level playing field in cases of legal duels pitting the humble Davids of this world with the monstrous and callous Goliaths.
As providence would have it, she needs to give the weak members of society a head start in the race towards fairness and equity.
But here is the elephant in the room – many men who have fallen victim to toxic feminism expect Koome to enforce impartiality on gender cases and stop the trend where they are always adjudged guilty until proved innocent. — [email protected]