Opposition Leader Raila Odinga has warmly welcomed the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) nomination of Judge David Maraga for the position of Kenya’s Chief Justice.
“Justice Maraga has a wealth of experience earned as a practicing advocate of many years standing and as a judge of the High Court and subsequently as a judge of the Kenya Court of Appeal. While in private practice he handled a number of public law cases which gave him a deeper understanding of issues relating to human and public rights, governance and the exercise of power and this has informed his positive world view and jurisprudence,” read Raila’s Thursday, September 22, statement.
“In the courts he has exhibited integrity, accountability and good behaviour, no doubt strengthened by his religious belief and exceptional uprightness,” said Raila.
Raila observes that 64-year-old Maraga is versed on matters law.
“I note that his leading judgment in the case of Attorney General vs. Mohamud Mohammed Hashi and Others has become a persuasive legal precedent here in Kenya and abroad on the question of universal jurisdiction of domestic courts in piracy cases. Drug trafficking and substance abuse is a major global problem and this is his contribution in the fight against this menace.”
Some of the challenges Raila has predicted that Justice Maraga is likely to encounter in the course of disseminating his duties include: “eradicating corruption, resisting the long and intrusive hand of the Executive, which constantly tries to control and manage the courts and stopping delays in the administration of Justice.”
“I urge our new Chief Justice never to allow the courts to sacrifice, compromise or dilute, in any shape or form, this sacred duty delegated to the judiciary by ‘we, the people.’ Let him hold to the foundational values and principles of Kenya as a sovereign Republic. All of us should never forget the heroic struggles of those who struggle to bring freedom and justice to our land.”
Raila Odinga has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and Parliament to approve Maraga’s appointment.
“The relevant authorities and agencies should expedite the appointment of the Chief Justice as currently the Supreme Court has remained in limbo because of lack of leadership and quorum.”