Judicial Service Commission Kenya

Lady Justice Martha Karambu Koome is the top choice for the Kenya's Chief Justice

Martha Koome Earmarked to Become Kenya’s First Female Chief Justice

Currently a Court of Appeal Judge, human rights defender and advocate Lady Justice Martha Karambu Koome's name has been forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment — and we're holding thumbs for her!

Despite the world being 21 years into the 21st Century, women are still celebrating many firsts. This time, Kenya is poised to elect its first woman into the illustrious role of Chief Justice. Lady Justice Martha Karambu Koome emerged as the top pick out of ten candidates on the Judicial Service Commission's (JSC) 2021 list. The decision is said to have been unanimous.

Following a gruelling interview process, Justice Koome beat nine other qualified candidates. Also in the running for the position was Said Juma Chitembwe, Professor Patricia Mbote, Justice Marete Njagi, Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Fred Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Dr Wekesa Moni and Alice Yano.

The nomination was not without contestation. Ngatia, one of the candidates, has disputed the nomination arguing that the JSC manipulated his scores, according to reports by Business Daily Africa.

Read more: Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi Seeks Refuge in Kenya

On Tuesday the JSC released a statement denying the allegations. "The JSC has run an open, transparent and competitive recruitment process that has witnessed the participation of the public and key stakeholders," the statement read.

Known as the voice for women, Justice Koome stipulated that one of her top priorities was to reduce the backlog of cases. This, she plans to do by "reducing the backlog of cases through facilitating the appointment of additional judges and magistrates, operationalising the Judiciary Fund to promote its independence, promoting the use of technology as well as to building additional courts," reports Nation Africa.

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During her interview, Justice Koome made it clear that it was her intention to tackle the patriarchal structure of the law. "The law supports patriarchal structures. The legal structure is dominated by patriarchy. Laws are made in Parliament and the dominant gender of Parliament is male," she told the interviewing panel.

Should her appointment be successful, Justice Koome will join a small but growing league of women Chief Justices on the African Continent including those from Sudan, Ethiopia, Zambia, Lesotho and Seychelles.

News Brief
Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images.

Zimbabwean Chief Demands Exhumation of Former President Robert Mugabe

Chief Zvimba has officially ordered former Zimbabwean First Lady, Grace Mugabe, to have the body of the late Robert Mugabe exhumed and reburied in accordance with the traditions of his culture.

According to several local media reports, a Zimbabwean chief has ordered Zimbabwe's former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, to have the late President Robert Mugabe exhumed. Chief Zvimba, of Zvimba District in the Mashonaland West province, has officially summoned G. Mugabe to appear at the village court at Gonzo Guzha Hall, Murombedzi Growth Point, on charges of wrongful burial next week Thursday. The call for exhumation comes after R. Mugabe's death in September of 2019 following his resignation amid the "coup-not-coup" of 2017. At the time of his death, there was already much debate about where he would be finally laid to rest.
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