Humble Chief Justice who left an indelible mark in the Judiciary
As he finally called it a day yesterday, the 14th Chief Justice of independent Kenya David Maraga will certainly be remembered for the indelible mark he left in his duty to administer justice across the country.
In Mombasa where he served as a High Court Judge for three years between 2003 and 2006, those who were privileged to work under him hail the retired CJ as the epitome of humility and absolute patience.
“We as Mombasa law society are privileged to be the first consumers of the judges judicial wisdom, upon his appointment as a judge of the high court, the honourable judge was posted in Mombasa, with time Maraga distinguished himself for his forthrightness, punctuality and sense of fairness,” said Mombasa Law Society of Kenya chairperson Mathew Nyabena.
“During his tenure, his court started punctually at 8:30 am. He conducted his cause list with speed and a sense to clear the backlog. He was indeed the fresh air that the wheels of justice needed to move forward,” he added.
Nyabena recalls at the time, many lawyers and litigants were content to appear before the judge as he would deliver his judgment based on the law and evidence and on time, adding that there were clear signs that he was destined for greatness.
“They say if you serve in Mombasa and your name is not uttered negatively in the streets of Kibokoni and Mwembe Tayari then you will have your way elsewhere.
The judges’ integrity was never an issue when he served the people of the Coast region,” he added.
The Justice Tower currently under construction will go down the memory lane as the best landmark given to the people of Mombasa by Maraga.
The new courts situated a few meters away from the court is estimated to have cost Sh445 million and it comprises 80 courtrooms, nine chambers for judges and magistrates, LSK lobby area, a space for lactating mothers, offices of the DPP, probation officers among others.
During the commissioning of the project, the site where the construction is ongoing was a subject of controversy as it was reportedly grabbed before it was repossessed after a successful court battle.
“The fight to recover this land was not an easy one and would not have been possible without the support of the judiciary and the LSK.
This is a clear demonstration that service delivery is key for justice dispensation in this Country,” said Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Alexander Muteti.
On his part, Maraga acknowledged the plaintiffs who were involved in the re-acquisition of the court land saying their efforts paid big time by paving way for efficient administration of justice in the upcoming modern courts.
Maraga will also be remembered for reopening the Court of Appeal in Mombasa in 2019 at a time when the judiciary was battling a backlog of 4,000 cases.