END OF AN ERA

[WATCH] Maraga to hand over instruments of power to Mwilu in special Supreme Court session

The CJ presided over a special supreme court session held in his honour.

In Summary

• The Supreme Court has pronounced CJ David Maraga as officially retired.

• The CJ recounted how he chose his faith over the job of CJ.

The Supreme Court has pronounced CJ David Maraga as officially retired. https://bit.ly/2XqTpD0

The Supreme Court has pronounced CJ David Maraga as officially retired.

He served for four years as Kenya's Chief Justice.

The CJ presided over a special supreme court session held in his honour where he handed over the instruments of power to his deputy Philomena Mwilu on his last day in office.

David Maraga hands over the Judiciary instruments of power to acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
David Maraga hands over the Judiciary instruments of power to acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Those who attended the event included his family, clergy, lawyers and judges.

In his final speech as CJ, Maraga thanked God for allowing him to serve in the Judiciary for 18 years in different capacities.

“I want to start by thanking God almighty for the opportunity to serve people of Kenya and guidance he gave,” he said.

The CJ recounted how he chose his faith over the job of CJ.

David Maraga delivers his last speech as Chief Justice at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
David Maraga delivers his last speech as Chief Justice at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

“In my interview for the job given the fact that the Supreme Court must hear and determine election whether I will sit on Saturday my sabbath day. I understood the question was for me to choose between to get the job and living by my faith. I determined to live out my faith and said I will not sit on Saturday,” he said.

“In accordance with this steadfast promises God took over he gave me the job and fought all my battles throughout the term I served as CJ. I don’t know how to thank him for considering me worthy of his grace.”

He thanked his family for support.

David Maraga's family at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
David Maraga's family at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

“Throughout you (wife, children) bore the brunt of the attacks and threats against me. I sincerely thank you and will not take that for granted,” Maraga said.

He also thanked Kenyans for their unwavering support.

“Your solidarity and steadfast defence in moments of trials only strengthened my resolve to serve you up to this day,” he said.

The CJ handed over instruments of power to acting CJ Mwilu at 10.44 am.

Acting CJ Philomena Mwilu when she spoke at Chief Justice David Maraga's farewell ceremony at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Acting CJ Philomena Mwilu when she spoke at Chief Justice David Maraga's farewell ceremony at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Justice Mwilu, who spoke immediately after, praised her former boss for exemplary leadership.

“Yours has been a life of service, professional and personal example characterized by integrity, fidelity to rule of law and most importantly obedience to God,” she said as she bid him goodbye.

“I have gained immensely from working with you. Encouragement in moments of weakness. As president of our court, you led us with knowledge.”

The DCJ applauded her former boss for leaving a proud legacy, especially on judicial independence, protecting and entrenching rule of law.

She promised to carry on from where he left.

“For whatever period it will please God for me to serve as CJ we will build on your legacy.”

At exactly 11.01 am Maraga removed his robe to show that he is now a civilian.

He acknowledged greetings from Judiciary staff as he headed to his car escorted by Mwilu.

He handed over government stores to Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amade.

This included an official car, national flag and number plate CJ1 to symbolize official handing over of power. He drove off in his private car.

Maraga will be remembered for his stand on the independence of the Judiciary and rule of law.

David Maraga bids farewell to Judiciary staff and judges at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
David Maraga bids farewell to Judiciary staff and judges at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

He becomes the first CJ who graduated from UON with a degree and masters.

The CJ’s tenure will also be remembered for his push of technology.

He learnt how to type and use a computer in his sixties and since then has been typing his judgments

He opened 22 new court buildings most of which were funded by world bank

The jurisprudence he leaves behind on electoral law, commercial law and piracy is large and has been invited across the world to give lectures in different universities among them Harvard, oxford

The CJ served as chair of JSC for four years and three months and chaired 93 meetings

He appointed 94 judicial staff, processed 172 cases on complaints on judicial officers.

David Maraga bids farewell to Judiciary staff and judges at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
David Maraga bids farewell to Judiciary staff and judges at the Supreme Court on January 11, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Philomena Mwilu will now act as CJ until the Judiciary hires a new one.

Last month, human rights activist Okiya Omtatah moved to court to bar the Judicial Service Commission from appointing Mwilu to act in the office of the CJ unless they clear her of all the corruption allegations levelled against her.

Omtatah insisted Mwilu is not fit to act in the office the Chief Justice upon Maraga's retirement.

The activist further argued that there are currently four different petitions filed at the JSC seeking to remove Mwilu from office.

Mogire Mogaka, Alexander Mugane, Peter Kirika and DPP have all filed different petitions are the JSC seeking for her removal that are yet to be determined.

Omtatah also expressed concern that the commission which is mandated to ensure the professionalism of judges is deliberately delaying to determine Mwilu’s matters.