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Kalpana Rawal and Philip Tunoi vacate office as Smokin Wanjala sets eyes on CJ position

By Luke Anami and Cyrus Ombati | June 21st 2016

Former Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Supreme Court judge Philip Tunoi have officially left office.

The two packed their personal belongings last week after which the offices they occupied on the first floor of the Supreme Court building were locked. Officials said the duo left quietly without much hustle.

“Their offices are now vacant and they had to leave. They vacated last Friday,” said an insider.

This comes in the wake of the race to fill up the positions and that of the Chief Justice. Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga retired last Thursday.

Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala is among those who are interested in succeeding Dr Mutunga. Sources close to Wanjala said he believes he is among the best brains to take over as Kenya’s 15th CJ.

Justice Wanjala holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi, a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, a Master of Laws from Columbia University, New York and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Before his appointment to the Supreme Court, Wanjala had been a Law lecturer at the University of Nairobi for 20 years (1986-2004). Here he offered instruction in diverse areas of law including land law, international law, human rights law, criminal law and law of the sea.

He was appointed as Assistant Director of the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission in October 2004 where he served in that capacity until 2009. Other possible successors being mentioned are Justice Kihara Kariuki, who is the current president of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u, High Court Judge Msagha Mbogholi, Attorney General Githu Muigai, Appellate judge David Maraga and Makau Mutua.

The Standard could not independently verify whether they have applied for the job.

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