Forget about being a woman - CJ Koome told on first day in office

Rubber meets the road for CJ Koome

Chief Justice Martha Karambu Koome receives instruments of power and the state of the Judiciary report from Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu had a message for the newly appointed Chief Justice Martha Koome as she handed over the instruments of power during a ceremony at the Supreme Court.

During her address, DCJ Mwilu cautioned CJ Koome against letting her gender affect the discharge of her duties, despite the historical significance of her appointment as Kenya’s first female CJ.

The DCJ also told her boss that the court of public opinion would be very harsh and thus she should be prepared to face it.

"I refuse to engender the important Office of the Chief Justice. You are just CJ now, forget about being a woman. Justice is neither male nor female, if anything, it could very well be transgender,” Mwilu said.

I refuse to tell you how to do your work, that is yours to decide but the constitution is your road map and hopefully you will make it your true north at all times. It is your Judiciary CJ, ni wewe kusema,” she added.

Mwilu offered her support to Lady Justice Koome as the rubber meets the road, adding that she should buckle up for the ride.

The DCJ pledged her support and vowed to respect the office of the Chief Justice and only help when she is asked to.

I have these witnesses when I pledge my unqualified support to you if ever you will need it. I shall undertake all legitimate and lawful assignments that you will give me.

More importantly I shall strictly stay on my constitutional lane. I shall help you to do the right thing if you require me to assist you,” Mwilu said.

CJ Koome’s predecessor, former CJ David Maraga acknowledged that the office is very demanding noting that she is well equipped for the job.

I know it as a fact that God gave us gifts. There are some gifts women have that men don't have and there are gifts which men have but women don’t have. One I know about and have said it over and over again is that the ladies are able to multitask more than men,” he noted.

I know you are a prayerful woman and when you pray you will get things done. Please keep reminding all of us that constitutional power is constraint power. Let us give Martha Koome all the support she requires,” Maraga concluded.

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