REPRIEVE

Court dismisses application seeking to bar Mwilu from acting as Chief Justice

Justice Mrima ruled that none of her cases before JSC had been determined

In Summary

• Omtatah had asked the court to stop Mwilu from being taking over the CJ position arguing that she had several pending cases in court.

• The ruling comes a day after the retirement of David Maraga who handed over the instruments of power to Mwilu on his last day in office.

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 Antony Mrima has dismissed an application by rights activist Okiya Omtatah seeking to temporarily stop Mwilu from taking over as Chief Justice position in an acting capacity.

Omtatah had asked the court to stop Mwilu from being taking over the CJ position arguing that she had several pending cases in court.

The activist argued that she was unfit to hold public office.

However, Justice Mrima on Tuesday ruled that none of the cases before JSC had been determined and it would be unfair to remove her.

The ruling comes a day after the retirement of David Maraga who handed over the instruments of power to Mwilu on his last day in office.

Mwilu praised her former boss saying Maraga is leaving a proud legacy, especially on judicial independence, protecting and entrenching the rule of law.

She promised to carry on from where he left off.

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

Earlier this month, Mwilu told the court that corruption and abuse of office complaints before the Judicial Service Commission cannot stop her from acting as Chief Justice.

Mwilu told Justice Anthony Mrima that a judge’s integrity does not diminish or end nor does she stop serving on account of pending complaints on her removal.

Through her lawyers Nelson Havi and Julie Soweto she said her case cannot be any different. 

Mwilu told the court that the JSC does not appoint an acting Chief Justice. It cannot be prohibited from undertaking a function not given to it.