Chief Justice Martha Koome said that she is committed to ensure that the independence of the Judiciary is upheld at all cost.
Koome stated that it was her mandate to protect the independence of the Judiciary, while at the same time ensure appropriate cooperation with the other arms of government in a bid to ensure that judicial functions are supported for smooth delivery of timely justice.
“No one should however direct how the Judiciary should decide on a matter would be in violation of the Constitution,” Koome said, adding that each and every person however has a responsibility in ensuring that all are champions for justice.
She asserted that the Judiciary has the mandate to make independent decisions how it hires its staff, and that independence must be protected and reinforced as per the Constitution.
Koome who was sworn on Friday at State House Nairobi as the first female Chief Justice in Kenya, stated that the three arms must work co currently in ensuring that Kenyans are served justice appropriately. The CJ noted that the Judiciary and the Executive cannot work together when the chain is broken and emphasized on the need for the Executive to allocate adequate funding to the judiciary.
The CJ who was alluding to the rift between the Judiciary and the Executive asserted on the need for unity and said that reconciliation is key in any Country that seeks to find solutions, asserting that solutions can only be found from within.
“I will emphasize on structured reconciliation because this is our country and whatever is not working we must fix,” she said, adding that Kenyans must embrace alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve conflicts even as she committed to do her best to deliver justice.
CJ Koome will be the 15th Chief Justice and the first female to ascend to the highest judicial office in the country’s history.
Koome congratulated Justice William Okello Ouko who was also sworn in as a Judge of the Supreme Court at the same ceremony that was conducted by Attorney General Paul Kihara in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The CJ urged politicians to emulate how Ouko and her handled themselves during and after the CJ nominations, adding that they competed with grace and was a lesson worth learning.
Ouko was Koome’s boss at the Court of the Appeal and they were both interviewed for the CJ position.
President Kenyatta congratulated Koome and Ouko on their appointments and urged them to ensure justice is served at all times in accordance with the Constitution and the established rule of law.
By Alice Gworo