JSC Nominates Martha Koome to be Kenya's Next Chief Justice

  • Court of Appeal judge Martha Koome appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 14
    Chief Justice Martha Koome appearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, April 14
  • Update 15:30: President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, April 28, forwarded the name of lady justice Martha Koome to the National Assembly to be vetted for appointment as Chief Justice.

    The Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday, April 27, nominated Lady Justice Martha Koome to be the Chief Justice after an extensive two weeks of interviews.

    Following the nomination of the Chief Justice, President Uhuru Kenyatta will forward the name to the National Assembly for vetting before being sworn in State House. 

    "The JSC has unanimously recommended the appointment of Hon Lady Justice Koome Martha Karabu, judge of the Court of Appeal as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya," JSC vice chair Olive Mugenda stated.

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

    If she is sworn in, Koome will the first female Chief Justice in the Country. This is the second time that Koome is seeking to become the Chief Justice

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

    During her interview, Koome vowed that she would do the job diligently if she was accorded the opportunity to be Kenya's next 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.

    Asked how she would solve the stalemate of the 41 judges that have been submitted by retired judge David Maraga, Koome stated that the CJ office authorised her to make a call and speak to President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

    "Even if it has been tried before, I am not the one who did so I would try again.

    "I don't know anybody in the executive. The closest I came to his excellency was when he came here on the launch of the state of the judiciary report and we were invited on the stairs to take a picture," she stated.

    On her part, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu will continue serving her term until she attains the retirement age of seventy years.

    The commission interviewed 10 candidates including; Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, Prof. Patricia Mbote, Justice Marete Njagi, lawyer Philip Murgor, Lawyer Fredrick Ngatia, Justice Matthews Nduma, Justice William Ouko, Prof. Moni Wekesa and lawyer Alice Yano.

    The interviews began months after Chief Justice David Maraga retired having served for four years.

    Retiring Chief Justice David Maraga at the Supreme Court (Undated)
    Retiring Chief Justice David Maraga at the Supreme Court (Undated)