The search for the next Chief Justice enters day two with academician professor Patricia Kamore Mbote set to appear before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) panelists to plead her case.
Kamore is Kenya’s first female Professor in law.
All 10 JSC commissioners composing of; Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Justice Mohammed Warsame of the Court of Appeal and Justice David Majanja of the High Court among others, are presiding over the selection process.
Professor Olive Mugenda – a public representative is chairing the panel that will forward the best candidate’s name to Parliament for vetting.
If MP’s approve of the candidate, his or her name will be forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment.
The JSC will also hire another Supreme Court judge to replace Jackton Ojwang who retired last year.
Justice Chitembwe Breaks Down
On Monday, Justice Said Juma Chitembwe who was the first interviewee to appear before the JSC panelists got into an emotional breakdown during his interview.
Justice Chitembwe was questioned on why he freed a 25 year old man after defiling a 13 year old girl in a case ruling he made in 2016.
In his defense, the high court judge said the punishment was too harsh yet the two were in a relationship.
He added that he was not advocating for underaged sex but however maintained that the matter needed to be addressed boldly and was needed to make the decisions besides the guidelines of the law.
The emotional breakdown continued as he narrated the incidence of being charged with a corruption case in 2009.
It emerged that Chitembwe had not submitted the requisite declaration forms and he was not tax compliant.
Justice Chitembwe is currently serving in the civil division of the high court in Milimani.
He has worked as High Court Judge in Kakamega, Malindi, Marsabit, and Migori.
He has also made visitations to Embu and Meru courts.