Africa Influential Man Of The Week: David Maraga
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Africa Influential Man Of The Week: David Maraga

Published: September 2, 2017 | 5:30 pm
Editor: Adigun Abiola, Africa.

David Kenani Maraga is a Kenyan lawyer and jurist. He is the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya. He is the 14th Chief Justice of Kenya

David Maraga

Kenya: About David Kenani Maraga

David Maraga was born in Bonyamatuta, Nyamira County, on 12th January, 1951.

Educational Background

Maraga studied law at the University of Nairobi, and was awarded a Bachelor of Laws in 1977. Later, he obtained a Master of Laws from the university. He also holds a post graduate diploma awarded in 1978 by the Kenya School of Law.

Judicial career

Justice Maraga joined the bench as a High Court Judge in October 2003 having been appointed by retired President Mwai Kibaki. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2012 following an interview process by the Judicial Service Commission.

Since he was appointed to a judicial office before the 2010 Constitution of Kenya came into force, Justice Maraga went through the mandatory vetting by the Judges & Magistrates Vetting Board in 2012. The Vetting Board unanimously declared him fit to continue serving in office, though his vetting took a dramatic twist when he demanded a Bible and swore before the vetting panel that he had never taken a bribe in his judicial career and would never take bribes in future.

A year after joining the Court of Appeal, he vied for the position of President of the Court of Appeal, losing by a solitary vote to the current President, Justice Kihara Kariuki.

Justice Maraga was appointed by retired Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in May 2012 to chair the Kenya Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparations (JWCEP) which was constituted in 2012 to ensure the Judiciary was fully prepared to deal in a timely manner, with any disputes that would arise from the March 2013 General Election.

As a result of the Committee's work, the Judiciary is in position to deal with all election petitions within the strict statutory timelines. The Committee was thus reconstituted as the standing Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) in 2015, still under the Chairmanship of Justice Maraga.

In 2013, the President of Kenya named Justice Maraga as the Chair of a Tribunal which was constituted to investigate the conduct of High Court Judge Joseph Mutava after complaints emerged that the Judge had been compromised to deliver a judgment which cushioned Goldenberg suspect Kamlesh Pattni from prosecution over his involvement in the Goldenberg scandal.

The Tribunal submitted a report in September 2016, recommending to the President that Justice Mutava be removed from office for improperly allocating himself the Kamlesh Pattni file when it did not fall under his docket, and proceeding to write a judgment in the case even though the Judicial Service Commission was investigating his conduct.

Before being appointed as the Chief Justice, David Maraga served as the Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal in Kisumu. Prior to his appointment to the High Court of Kenya in 2003, he worked as lawyer in private practice for over 25 years.

Appointment to the Office of Chief Justice of Kenya

Following the voluntary early retirement of Dr. Willy Mutunga in June 2016, Justice Maraga was among the ten people who applied to replace him. Judge Maraga emerged victorious from a list of eminent judges, legal practitioners and scholars, including law professor Makau Mutua, Supreme Court of Kenya Judges Jackton Ojwang and Smokin Wanjala, East Africa Court of Justice Judge Aaron Ringera, and his Court of Appeal colleague Alnashir Visram.

Having been nominated for appointment by the Judicial Service Commission, his name was forwarded to the President who transmitted it to the National Assembly for vetting before formal appointment. The National Assembly voted unanimously to approve his appointment as the Chief Justice on 18 October 2016. He was officially appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 19 October 2016, when he took the oath of office as the 14th Chief Justice of independent Kenya and the second Chief Justice in Kenya's new constitutional dispensation. He took over the reins as President of the Supreme Court from Dr Willy Mutunga, who resigned. He is expected to retire on 12th January 2021 upon the attainment of 70 years as stipulated in the Kenyan constitution.

Justice David Maraga have created history by annulling the August presidential election in Kenya


Wikipedia - David Maraga

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READ ALSO: Africa Influential Man Of The Week: Olusegun Obasanjo

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