Martha Koome has officially been sworn in as Kenya’s first female Chief justice at State House, Nairobi.
The oath has been administered by Judiciary Chief Registrar Anne Amadi.
Court of Appeal president William Ouko also took his oath to serve as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Speaking during the ceremony, President Uhuru Kenyatta said it was an honour to be the first president to swear in the country’s first female Chief Justice adding that she should promote fairness, independence and integrity.
“It’s a singular honour to be the first president to swear in the first female Chief Justice of Kenya,” Uhuru said.
In a gazette notice dated May 19, the Head of State appointed the 61-year-old to be the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya. This was after approval by the National Assembly following a recommendation by the House’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.
Koome was vetted by the committee chaired by Kangema Member of Parliament Muturi Kigano last week.
MPs considered the committee’s report on Wednesday in a special sitting convened by Speaker Justin Muturi.
While appearing before JLAC last week, Justice Koome was put to task to answer to an affidavit by Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi where he suggested in a memorandum that she was not suitable to succeed Justice David Maraga who retired in January this year.
She defended herself vowing to ensure the Judiciary is not influenced by either the Executive or the Legislature in discharging its duties.
“In service delivery, we require the support of Parliament for allocation of resources to the Judiciary and the Executive for enforcing and implementing some of our decisions,” she told the committee.
Justice Koome, who boasts of 33 years of experience in legal practice, was nominated for the position of Chief Justice by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) last month.
She was among 10 candidates shortlisted and interviewed for the position of CJ by JSC.
The nine contestants she faced off against were Said Chitembwe, Prof Patricia Mbote, Justice Marete Njagi, Senior Counsel Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Fred Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Dr Wekesa Moni and Alice Yano.