Jan, 11th 2021 – Outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga is today expected to hand over to Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu. The supreme Court will hold a special court ceremony and tribute in honor of Maraga, being his last day in office.
Mwilu is expected to act in the position until the Judicial Service Comission (JSC) recruits a new Chief Justice. Maraga has been the Country’s Chief Justice since 2016after replacing Willy Mutunga who took an early retirement.
In an invitation to the ceremony, it read, “Monday January 11 is CJ Maraga’s last day in office. In this respect, the Supreme Court will hold a ceremony/tribute in honor at 9:30am. Thereafter, the CJ will hand the instruments of power to the acting CJ Philomena Mwilu.“
Maraga secured the job after defeating justices Smokin Wanjala, Alnashir Visram, Roselyne Nambuye, Mbogholi Msagha, outspoken US based lawyer Prof. Makau Mutua and the late Senior Counsel Philip Kitonga.
Justice Mwilu is however facing obstacles as a case was filed in court challenging her appointment as the acting CJ. The case was filed by activist Okiya Omtatah seeking orders to restrain Mwilu from taking over as the acting CJ until JSC clears her of allegations of abuse of office and corruption.
Omtatah was also seeking orders suspending the letter by Maraga where he is to transfer all his functions and responsibilities to his deputy Mwilu. The letter directed Mwilu to perform all the duties and functions of the CJ from the 12th of December 2020 till a new Judiciary boss is appointed.
Mwilu however argued that complaints against judges are received by the JSC and that the existence of these complaints do not bar her from discharging her constitutional, administrative or judicial functions.
In her affidavit she said, “My case cannot be any different. A judge’s personal integrity does not diminish or end nor does the judge case being suitable to continue serving on account of pending complaints for removal.“
She added that as the Deputy Head of Judiciary, she has performed all the functions notified to her by the CJ via his letter.