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'I leave behind a strong Judiciary': David Maraga's valedictory speech

By David Maraga | January 11th 2021 at 14:21:35 GMT +0300

A photo collage of Chief Justice David Maraga removing his rob as he proceeds on retirement on Monday, January 11, 2020. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

I stand here today full of gratitude and appreciation as I say goodbye to the Judiciary after about 18 years of service to the people of Kenya. During this time, I have served first as a Judge of the High Court, Judge of the Court of Appeal and finally as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. The time to say goodbye has come.

I want to start by thanking God for the opportunity He gave me to serve and the guidance He provided as I carried out my duties.

In my interview for the position of Chief Justice, given the fact that the Supreme Court must hear and determine Presidential Election petitions within 14 days, I was asked whether I would sit on a Saturday, my Sabbath day. I understood the question to require of me to make a choice between getting the job of Chief Justice and living out my faith. I determined to live out my faith and said I would not sit on Saturday. Thereafter, in accordance with His steadfast promises, God took over. The rest is history. He gave me the job and fought all my battles throughout my term as the Chief Justice. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to Him for considering me worthy of His grace and favours.

A special Thank You goes to my dear wife and our children, as well as my extended family. Through your prayers and support, you have been to me what Harun was to Moses. I don’t take that for granted. I sincerely thank you. I also want to thank you, the people of Kenya, for your unwavering confidence in and support for me. Your solidarity in moments of great adversity and peril, and your steadfast defence in moments of trials and tribulations, only strengthened my resolve and enabled me to serve you.

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Thank you too my dear colleagues, starting with the Deputy Chief Justice, my brother and sister Judges with whom I had the distinct pleasure of serving in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court. My deep sense of gratitude also goes to all the other Judges, Magistrates, Kadhis, Judicial Officers and Staff of the Judiciary whose valuable support enabled me to satisfactorily discharge my duties. The milestones we have achieved in moving the Judiciary transformation to where it is today is our collective achievement, and from which I draw enormous pride.

I would also like to thank the Judicial Service Commission, the Commissioners, the Chief Registrar and all the Commission Staff. I know I pushed you very hard and made you sit for very long hours many times. Thank you for bearing with me.

A special Thank You also goes to the legal fraternity, through the Law Society of Kenya and the Justice Sector, in particular the National Council on the Administration of Justice. Your dedication to the rule of law and your unflinching demand for efficiency and equity in the administration of justice have been a source of motivation and inspiration to me.

Let me also thank the Executive and the Legislature for the work we have been able to accomplish as co-equal arms of Government in the service of the Kenyan public. I urge you to continue living by the constitutional edict of robust independence and constructive interdependence, which the Judiciary has embraced as a key philosophical and operational principle.

A special Thank You also goes to our Development Partners. Without your support, many of the Judiciary programs would have ground to a halt. Please continue supporting the Judiciary which, as you are well aware, is the beacon of hope for the people of this great country.

Today, I leave behind me a strong Judiciary, a professional and enthusiastic corps of Judges and Judicial Officers as well as staff who are deeply committed to the administration of justice, and an increasingly enlightened public whose confidence in and demand for our services grows by the day.

I urge you all to continue giving them your unwavering support, and to keep praying for them so that justice and the rule of law can continue flourishing in our beloved country. We must continue to invest in a strong, independent, fair, and effective Judiciary bearing in mind that sustained economic prosperity and the long-term political stability of this nation can only be guaranteed if the rule of law reigns.

Thank you very much, and may God Bless You All.

David Maraga Chief Justice David Maraga Chief Justice
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