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Hon. Lady Justice Wanjiru Karanja (R) to Supreme court on 5/October/2016 to be vetted on positions of deputy Chief Justice. She has denied getting promotion as a reward for her role in the 2003 Judiciary purge that led to sacking of several judges. (PHOTO: EDWARD KIPLIMO/ STANDARD)

Kenya

A Court of Appeal Judge has denied getting promotion as a reward for her role in the 2003 Judiciary purge that led to sacking of several judges.

Lady Justice Wanjiru Karanja, who was part of Retired Justice Aaron Ringera-led radical surgery in the Judiciary, also regretted the exercise, saying it was the lowest point in the Judiciary that should never be allowed to happen again.

"In any case, I deeply regret about the events of the commission as I felt the judges were not given fair opportunity to defend themselves. My promotion was purely based on merit and hard work, and had nothing to do with the radical surgery," Wanjiru told the Judicial Service Commission panel interviewing her for the position of Deputy Chief Justice.

At the time of the radical surgery in 2003, she was a magistrate in charge of the Anti-Corruption Court. She was later promoted as a High Court Judge in 2005.

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According to the judge, she even declined her appointment to the commission but was forced to be part of the team and that her objections to some of the recommendations made by the commission were dismissed because they considered her as a junior member.

"It was unfortunate that the purge took place, and it is so sad that a judge who was unfairly treated is still walking in our corridors searching for justice. Those people are still hurting, their experience makes some judges and magistrates work in fear that it might happen again," Justice Karanja.

She added that her worst moment in the Judiciary was when she faced the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board and was accused of flimsy grounds that could not be proved.

If appointed the Deputy CJ, Justice Karanja said she will advocate for re-introduction of court bailiffs to force men who abandon their children to pay for their upkeep.



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