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Justice David Marete tells panel interviewing for Chief Justice job he has no mental issues

COUNTIES
By Betty Njeru | April 15th 2021

Justice David Marete has defended the state of his mental health while appearing for an interview for the position of Chief Justice at the Supreme Court.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) panel sought to find out why Justice Marete still has a card for persons with disabilities to this day.

He responded: “I have no mental issues. There was an error on my card and I have never had the time to correct the issue. I highlighted I have visual disability and Diabetes from time to time.”

Justice David Marete Njagi is on the hot seat as he seeks to replace the former CJ David Maraga, who retired in January this year.

Justice Marete, 61, has 35 years' experience in the legal profession.

In July 2012, he was appointed to the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) under the 2010 Constitution.

He is remembered for coming to the rescue of civil servants seeking elective positions in 2017 when he declared election laws, which required them to resign six months before the election, invalid and unconstitutional.

His stint at the ELRC saw him handle some of the most contested and high-profile labour disputes that led to his suspension for nearly five months.

Justice Marete was accused of among others gross misconduct, violation of the constitution, and bias in a court decision.

He was acquitted of any wrongdoing in September 2020.

In his career, he has also served at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) as a senior legal officer.

Appearing at the Supreme Court on Thursday for interviews for the position of CJ, Justice Marete told the panelists that he is confident in his ability to take up the office. “Daring is my other name, there is nothing that shakes me. This office requires a daring person,” he said.

 

Justice Njagi Marete appears for Chief Justice interviews. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

 

Panel: Why do you feel you’re best qualified?

Justice Marete: I know myself. I know my abilities. I was a celebrity at Sheria House in terms of performance and when I transferred to Nyeri, there was a protest for sending me away. My abilities speak for themselves.

Panel: What things will you focus on if you become CJ?

Justice Marete: Besides dealing with the backlog of cases, I will invest in technology and manpower. We cannot go back to the past. I will build on that and equip the Judiciary with advanced technology. The issue of judges is another factor. The appointment of 41 judges should have happened like yesterday. We have tried the formal process and it is not yielding results. My choice will be dialogue and reconciliation.

Justice Marete is among 10 candidates shortlisted for the position of Chief Justice.

 

Three candidates have already been interviewed, in order of appearance -Justice Juma Chitembwe, Prof Patricia Kameri Mbote, and Justice Martha Koome.

 Other candidates are Justice Said Chitembwe, Justice Martha Koome, Philip Kipchirchi Murgor, Prof Patricia Mbote, Justice Nduma Nderi, Senior Counsel Fredrick Ngatia, William Ouko, Moni Wekesa and Alice Jepkoech.

The interviews are on until April 23.

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