Chief Justice David Maraga is expected to hand over instruments of power today to Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu as he marks his last day in office.
This will be done through a special court session that will be presided over by Maraga with those expected to be in attendance including the clergy and his close family.
According to a local publication, the session was to commence at 9AM and the instruments of power will be handed over to Mwilu until a new Chief Justice is appointed.
Maraga’s succession has been making headlines in the last couple of months encumbered with a few controversies.
In September last year, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) representative to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Macharia Njeru accused Maraga of sabotaging the process of recruiting his successor.
Maraga, who assumed office in October 2016, is expected to proceed on terminal leave on December 15 and retire on January 15, 2021.
Through a press statement, Njeru claimed that external and internal forces were working with the CJ to derail the process of recruiting his replacement.
The former Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) chairman accused the CJ, his deputy Philomena Mwilu, and Justice Mohamed Warsame of opposing the commencement of the recruitment process.
According to Njeru, the commission in its meeting held on September 16, 2020 passed a resolution appointing a committee led by the Vice-Chair of the Commission Hon Dr Mercy Deche with Hon Justice Mohammed Warsame, Hon Justice David Majanja, Hon Elizabeth Ominde and himself as members to among other things provide a road map for the recruitment of the Chief Justice and transitional arrangements.
“The Committee was given powers to co-opt any member of the Commission that it deemed necessary which it did by unanimously bringing in Hon Patrick Gichohi on account of his long public service experience both at parliament as the clerk to the National Assembly and past Commissioner at the Public service commission. The Committee was tasked by the Commission to submit its report on 30th September 2020, ” he said.
Njeru said the committee in its meeting held on September 21 ,2020 resolved to among other things recommend to the full Commission immediate commencement of the process recruitment of the next Chief Justice including advertisement of the position.
After opposing the exercise, Njeru noted that Maraga went ahead to cancel a meeting that was scheduled for today, October 16, to deliberate on whether the CJ and his deputy should participate in the discussion of recruiting his successor as they are “already conflicted”.