The Judiciary partnered with the National Museums of Kenya to turn the Supreme Court basement, where a number of Kenyan politicians were locked up, into a museum.
The cells inside the basement served as detention areas for political prisoners like George Anyona, Raila Odinga, Maina wa Kinyati,cEdward Oyugi, Willy Mutunga, Koigi Wamwere and many others.
The facility located in the Eastern wing of the Supreme Court Building basement is one of its kind in East Africa.
Opened to the public in 2016, the once filthy cells were renovated at a cost of Ksh 70 million.Hallway inside the Judiciary Museum at the Supreme Court BuildingFile
The museum showcases the rich history of the Judiciary and features key documents and objects of great judicial heritage value as well as contemporary graffiti.Photos taken inside the Judiciary Museum at the Supreme Court BuildingFile
The museum also has sculptures of past chief justices alongside their biographies and other memorabilia.
The idea behind developing a museum originated from the need to open the Judiciary to the public to create understanding and awareness of its history, development and role in society aimed at demystifying the public perception of the institution.
A majority of the museum's guests include law students and history teachers and students.
According to Judicial records, before 1895, when Kenya was declared a British Protectorate, the country had no structured legal system.
The first Chief Justice of the Kenyan Judiciary, Robert William Hamilton, was appointed in 1906.
At independence, John Ainley was the Chief Justice who presided over the swearing-in of founding President Jomo Kenyatta.
The first black Chief Justice Kitili Mwendwa was appointed in 1968 at 39 years of age.Carvings of previous Chief Justices who have served in Kenya, on display at the Judiciary Museum of Kenya.File
Mwendwa resigned in 1971 following accusations that he was part of a military plot to overthrow the Government of President Jomo Kenyatta.
He later returned to public service as a Member of Parliament for Kitui Central after more than a decade in private business.Judiciary Museum wall showing paintings of the late Jomo KenyattaFile
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