By James Macharia
A ten-day journey to find Kenya’s next Chief Justice (CJ) has kicked off today, with aspirants eyeing the seat seemingly putting the best of their feet on the starting mark.
The race which has attracted ten applicants seeks to fill the vacancy following the retirement of the former CJ David Kenani Maraga whose term expired in January 12,2021.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC),chaired by Professor Olive Mugenda will vet each applicant in a day.
This probably shows the kind of precision the vetting will be accorded.
The whoever CJ will be third,since the promulgation of the 2010 constitution.
The Chief Justice is the head of the Judiciary,President of the Supreme Court and Chairperson of the JSC.He is also the link between the Judiciary and other arms of government.
Prof. Chitembwe S. Juma is slotted to be interviewed today, in an ocassion that will last for not less than 3-4 hours as per Ann Amadi, the JSC chief registrar.
The race also features Prof. Kameri Mbote,Lady Justice Martha Koome,Justice Marete Njagi, former Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) Philip Murgor,just a few to mention.
Since Maraga’s retirement,his Deputy Philomena Mwilu has been the acting Chief Justice.
Upon the Commission’s vetting,the report will be submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta within seven days.The president will thereafter draft his appointment to parliament for its approval. If parliament approves the name it will hand it back to the President.
If the parliament rejects the name, it will require the JSC to start the exercise all over again.
Now all eyes are on the vetting panel that has been tasked with the responsibility to uphold the utmost degree of impartiality and balance as well as integrity to guarantee credibility of results.
Also, circumstances pose a question as to whether the winner of the race will be up to the task, as he or she will be required to work in line with the rule of law and serve as the emblem of unity in the whole Judiciary.