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Hard Task Ahead of Proposed New Chief Justice David Maraga

By Dorynne Shawanna | Sep 23rd 2016 | 2 min read

The newly proposed Chief Justice was announced yesterday by the Judiciary Service Commission. Justice David Maranga was declared by the JSC as the best candidate among the rest to fill in the seat of the Chief Justice. The JSC has acted honorably and in good faith in appointing the new CJ. It is therefore critical that Justice Maranga who has been proposed to sit at the helm of the judiciary be a leader who is not only alive to our national aspirations, values and beliefs but also totally sold out to the same.

The Chief Justice is a critical office in Kenya. The Judiciary which Justice Maraga may end up leading has a central role in the individual and collective lives of Kenyans. The courts in Kenya have become the ultimate hope in almost all matters of our social lives. The proposed CJ will be heading the courts which play the more serious role of law making through their rulings. Unlike laws made in Parliament, court rulings become almost universal points of reference. Most controversial issues such as abortion and incest have been determined by courts. An example is the ruling passed by our High Court last month that sex between cousins is not incest yet most Kenyan communities considers that as a taboo. It is therefore essential for the Head of Judiciary to adopt core values and beliefs of our country.

Justice David Maraga is expected to set up thorough administrative structures that will ensure sensible distribution of caseloads to the Judicial Staff who must be inspired by their leader to be at work on time and are committed to finding a fair balance between their seminar needs and the needs of a justice seeking public.

Justice Maraga must have core values of patience, refined listening and observation skills, strength of character to tolerate an alternative opinion and the ability to remain calm always, even under fire. This is one of the traits former CJ Willy Mutunga portrayed during the election petition after the 2012 General elections; he exhibited exemplary of patience and tolerance under pressure.

Finally, Justice David Maraga portrayed himself during his interview as having an untainted past. This is what the people will be expecting from him; a man who will change the controversial and tainted Judiciary into a corrupt free untainted zone just as he claims to be. He is described as a man of Integrity and also as an insider who understands the workings of the Judiciary. His colleagues described him as punctual and serious with cases before him and in full control of the court. If and when he is formally endorsed as the new CJ of Kenya by President Uhuru Kenyatta, let us all see these traits manifest in the Judiciary.

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