President Uhuru Kenyatta has submitted the name of Court of Appeal Judge Martha Koome to Parliament for vetting following her nomination for the position of Chief Justice by the Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday.
In a message read by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during the House’s special sitting on Wednesday, the Head of State asked the lawmakers to approve Lady Justice Koome to succeed David Kenani Maraga who retired early this year.
— National Assembly KE (@NAssemblyKE) April 28, 2021
The Justice and Legal Affair committee is expected to vet Koome and issue a report with 28 days.
“The committee is requested to consider the nomination on a priority basis,” he said.
If approved, Koome will be sworn in as the 15th Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya, and become the first woman to occupy the office.
The 61-year-old, who unsuccessfully contested for the Deputy Chief Justice position in 2016, was among 10 candidates shortlisted and interviewed for the position of CJ.
The nine contestants she faced off against are 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.
During her interview on April 14, Koome, who boasts of 33 years of experience in legal practice, told the JSC panel that she will be banking on her experience as an insider of the Judiciary to transform courts.
Koome joined the Judiciary in 2003. Prior to that, she was a human rights defender.
Born in 1960 in Meru County, Koome has a Master of Laws in Public International Law from the University of London (2010), a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi (1986) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law.