Judge Martha Koome: My Spouse is Not Entitled to My Property

  • Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 14

    Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 14
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  • Court of Appeal Judge Martha Koome on Wednesday, April 14, stated that marriage did not automatically give ownership rights to the property for either of the spouse.

    Appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) where she was being interviewed for the position of Chief Justice, Koome explained that some spouses were taking advantage of the marriage institution to reap where they did not sow.

    "If I got married today and I have some property, my spouse is not entitled to it. And if I got married and my husband has some property, I am not entitled to it because that is his property," she said.

    Lady Justice Martha Koome while she delivered judgments and rulings of the Court of Appeal via Skype on April 24, 2020.
    Lady Justice Martha Koome while she delivered judgments and rulings of the Court of Appeal via Skype on April 24, 2020.

    Koome added that both spouses were entitled to an equal share of property that they had both acquired during their union.

    “When you stay together and develop this property then either party in the marriage acquires occupational rights,” she said.

    Koome was responding to questions asked by Justice Mohamed Warsame who asked how she would solve the issue of dividing property equally.

    Asked whether female judges face more challenges than their male counterparts, Koome stated that the problems they endured were completely gender-neutral.

    "As women, we face the same challenges our male counterparts face. Leadership does not require a man or a woman, it should be based on skills.

    "Being a CJ is like a driver. Whoever sits on the driver’s seat, as long as they have the license, the car will move. To me leadership and interpersonal skill is what I need for the CJ job," she added.

    This is the second time that Koome is seeking to become the Chief Justice. If she clinches the position, she will be the first woman Chief Justice in the Country.

    She has 33 years of experience in legal practice and is among 10 shortlisted candidates for the interview for the position of Kenya's Chief Justice. 

    "Whatever work God puts in my hands, I do it with passion and I remove all my arsenals to do that job and achieve what it is that I need to achieve," she stated. 

    Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome
    Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome
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