Justice David Marete’s wealth status raised concerns during his interview for the position of Chief Justice.
During the interview on Thursday, April 15, Judicial Service Commission’s Evelyn Olwande questioned how Justice Marete had acquired a Ksh30 million home as indicated in his wealth declaration form for 2020.
“This property worth Ksh 30 million does not appear in your wealth declaration form of 2016 and 2018 so I presumed that it was acquired between 2018 and 2020,” Olwande said.Justice David Marete being interviewed for the position of Chief Justice by the Judicial Service Commission on April 15, 2021
In his response, the judge explained that he moved into the house located in Ongata Rongai in 1996 and has had it all through. He added that the omission was a regrettable error.
Marete was also put to task to explain why he failed to attach his bank account statements, omission of his wife’s property and why he had listed his income as not applicable.
“My answer to that is, in my own imagination, cleverness or lack of it, when you’re asking for my income you’re asking for extra money and not my pay. I imagine you know my pay, everybody knows my pay, it is public knowledge,” Justice Marete told the commission.
He added that the payslips were scattered all over in Eldoret and Nyeri where he was stationed and that it would take time to collect them.
Responding to the matter about his wife’s wealth, Justice Marete revealed that his spouse retired after only 38 years in her career and was now a pensioner taking home Ksh 33,000 monthly.
So far none of the candidates for Chief Justice had filed their spouses' wealth by the time they were interviewed.
Earlier during the interview, it also emerged that 4 out of the 5 referees the judge attached in his application did not offer any comments on his profession or character.
“When I list references I don’t go to them or alert and coach them, that's how open I am. I leave it entirely up to them to provide any information,” he explained.
The interviews for the position of chief justice continue until April 23, after which the JSC is expected to nominate successful candidates to President Uhuru Kenyatta for an appointment.Justice David Marete Njagi being escorted by the Secretary to the JSC, Anne Amadi, at the conclusion of his interview before the JSC PanelFile
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