David Maraga on Monday officially retired as the 15th Chief Justice of the post-independent Kenya.
Maraga called it a day and handed over the instruments of power to acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
Maraga, who was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 19, 2016, took over from Dr Willy Mutunga who retired in June 2016.
The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church adherent previously served as presiding judge of the Court of Appeal in Kisumu, Judiciary Committee on Elections chairperson, presiding judge of the High Court Family Division in Nairobi as well as High Court resident judge in Nakuru.
Addressing the media at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on Monday, Maraga asked Kenyans to continue supporting judges and magistrates to ensure justice continues to be served in Kenya.
“Today I want to assure the entire nation that I leave behind a strong Judiciary, a professional and enthusiastic corps of judges and judicial officers as well as staff who are deeply committed to the administration of justice,” he said.
He rooted for the continued reign of the rule of law in the country saying this relies on a strong, independent and fair Judiciary to ensure sustained economic prosperity and political stability.
Maraga also thanked Kenyans for supporting him during his tumultuous tenure asking that they do the same for Mwilu until his replacement is appointed.
Maraga and his family. PHOTO/COURTESY
On her part, Justice Mwilu praised Maraga for what she termed as leadership in the judiciary worth emulating.
“Yours has been a life of service and a professional and personal example characterised by integrity, fidelity to the rule of law and, most importantly, obedience to God. I have gained immensely from working with you, encouragement in moments of weakness. As President of our court, you led us with knowledge,” Mwilu said.
She said he left a great legacy of judicial independence and entrenchment of the rule of law.
Maraga and Mwilu. PHOTO/COURTESY
Maraga’s tenure saw him oversee the Supreme Court session that nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in 2017 that set him on a warpath with the Kenyatta administration.
His bad blood with President Kenyatta saw the judiciary suffer budget cuts and the Chief Justice being mishandled at state functions after Kenyatta’s famous “we shall revisit” explicit threat.
Maraga was disrobed to mark the end of his tenure as he handed over his official vehicle, a national flag and the number plate CJ1 to Anne Amadi, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary before driving off in his private car with his wife, Yucabeth Nyaboke.