Chief Justice Martha Koome has vowed to protect the independence of the Judiciary in line with the constitution.
Speaking Friday at the Supreme Court while giving her maiden speech, the CJ said she will ensure the independence of the Judiciary cannot be interfered with.
” The Executive has a duty to ensure budget allocations that support the functions of the Judiciary, ensure support necessary for court to be obeyed and implemented. Independence of Judiciary cannot be interfered with; it is protected in the constitution,” she said
She further assured the country that she will not give in to external influence on decisions by the judiciary.
The CJ at the same time noted that the weight and responsibility that falls on her shoulders cannot be understated.
“This oath will constantly remind me that this power is entrusted to us as servants of the people, to ensure Justice is done, dispensed expeditiously without fear or favour.” She added
She also took time to encourage Kenyans to go for their dreams.
“I have travelled this journey but I walked the path of other women trailblazers who went before me and after many trials, the path is now well defined and easier for others to travel after me. As VP Kamala Harris said, “I am the first, but not the last” This is a momentous occasion, witnessed with joy and hope not only because I am the first woman in Kenya to take this office but because every time a member of the marginalized group breaks a barrier, they hold a space for the dreams and hopes of others,” said the CJ.
The Chief Justice hailed the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu for effectively acting as CJ since Justice David Maraga retired in January.
She further congratulated Court of Appeal President William Ouko, who also took oath to serve as judge of the Supreme Court replacing Justice Jacktone Ojwang who retired after attaining the mandatory retirement age.
Earlier, President Kenyatta congratulated Chief Justice Koome and Supreme Court Judge Justice Ouko on their appointment and urged them to ensure justice is served at all times in accordance with the Constitution and the established rule of law.
“Just to remind you of the oath you have taken to impartially do justice in accordance with the Constitution and by the law established, and the laws and customs of the Republic without any fear, favour, bias, affection, ill will, prejudice and any political, religious or other influence in the exercise of the judicial functions entrusted to you,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State assured that he will at all times protect and defend the Constitution with a vie of upholding the dignity and respect for the judiciary and the judicial system.
He expressed optimism that Chief Justice Koome and Justice Ouko will succeed in their new roles, noting that they were both well-grounded in their career having risen through the ranks of Kenya’s judicial system.
To Chief Justice Koome, President Kenyatta said he felt honoured to be the first President to swear in the first female Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.