Former Chief Justice David K. Maraga Monday formally handed over instruments of power back to the Judiciary, marking his exit from the Highest Judicial office.
Maraga who Monday attained the mandatory retirement age of 70, handed over the instruments of power to Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu who will hold the position in an acting capacity until a substantive Chief Justice is appointed.
Maraga who made a statement during the ceremony said he was happy with what he achieved during his tenure and called on judges “not to let Kenyans down but to be guided by the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution.”
“I want to thank Kenyans for their unwavering confidence and steadfast support for me during difficult times as I served you,” he said, and further thanked fellow judges, Magistrates, Kadhis and judicial officials for the deep sense of gratitude goes to all the judges “whose invaluable support enabled me to serve in my duties.”
“Always stand firm because God and the people of Kenya will defend you,” urged Maraga to the judges as he handed over to Mwilu during a special sitting held by the Supreme Court in his honor.
Maraga decried the “war drums being beaten already by politicians” and called on politicians to “do the right thing to protect the country.”
Mwilu hailed Maraga as being fair and balanced and had an ear for fellow judges in serious decision matters.
The special sitting was characterized by an elaborate brief ceremony outside the Supreme Court where he was de-robbed and handed over the official vehicle before he boarded his private car back home.
Key among Maraga’s conflict that had always pitted him against the executive included the 2017 general elections petition that was filed by Raila Odinga. Supreme Court Ruling where he nullified President Kenyatta election, and his call for President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to enact laws on the elusive two-thirds gender rule among complaints of allocation of insufficient funds.
Maraga took over office from Dr. Willy Mutunga in October 2016 is the country’s 14th Chief Justice.
In his 25-year long career, Maraga who was flanked by his children and wife, has served as a lawyer, judge before he was eventually appointed Chief Justice.
Maraga’s retirement paves way for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to start the recruitment of his successor.
By Alice Gworo