President Kenyatta Appoints First Female Chief Justice in Kenya

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday appointed Martha Koome to serve as the country’s next chief justice, effectively marking her as the first woman to hold the judicial post. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed Koome’s appointment just few hours after the Kenyan Parliament approved her nomination. Koome is scheduled to take the oath of office on Thursday.

Kenyatta’s said “In exercise powers conferred by … the constitution. I, Uhuru Kenyatta, president and commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defense Forces, appoint Martha Karambu Koome to be the chief justice of the Republic of Kenya,”

Koome is set to replace former Chief Justice David Maraga, who made history by leading the Kenyan Supreme Court when it annulled Kenyatta’s 2017 reelection victory, a move that ordered new voting within 60 days over election illegalities and irregularities.

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Koomes was picked by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from a pool of nine other candidates, including judges, prominent lawyers in private practice and law scholars. She emerged as the best candidate out of ten applicants for the position.

She is well known in the civil society movement and was first appointed a High Court judge in 2003. In her past career, she has fiercely defended the rights of women and children.

Koome has a Master of Laws in Public International Law from the University of London (2010), a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi (1986) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law.

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Koome now faces the task of adjudicating any challenge to the upcoming presidential election, which is scheduled to be held in August 2022.

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