Chief Justice Martha Koome has formally taken over her roles as head of the Judiciary and president of the Supreme Court.
The ceremony to usher her into office was held at Supreme Court Buildings this morning.
“I am delighted to be taking over the leadership of the Judiciary at a time when the momentum for transformation is on an upwards trajectory,” she said. Koome said her focus will be judicial independence and prompt dispensation of justice to all.
“We should strive to be fair in administration of justice. We should guard the independence of the Judiciary,” she said. “The challenge of threat to independence of the Judiciary is an old one. Judicial independence is anchored in the Constitution. It behooves judges to resist any interference. The law requires us to decide cases on law and not interference of any party.”
Koome on Funding
Koome, who is Kenya’s first female Chief Justice, acknowledged that under-funding of the Judiciary is a challenge to the administration of justice in the country. “This continues to be an active threat to the independence of the Judiciary,” she said.
Koome also said she will pursue a harmonious working relationship for the three arms of government -Judiciary, Legistlature and Executive for the benefit of all Kenyans.
In her speech, she relived her journey to the top echelons of the judiciary, saying she hopes to empower all young people to pursue their dreams. “The last 30 years of my life have been in service of the law. Beyond being a career, this journey has been a calling, a privilege, and a life commitment,” she said.
She paid tribute to her mother and women in the profession who steered her dreams, notably Priscilla Ambwao, Kenya’s representative at Lancaster House and Effie Owuor, first female magistrate.