Kenya’s first Chief Justice under the new constitution, Dr Willy Mutunga, officially retired yesterday at 69 years, shortly after delivering his final ruling as president of the Supreme Court.
Mutunga said that he was happy with his record as the judiciary had “done well “under his leadership and that he had left behind a Judiciary that was more independent and more humane, one that defended the Constitution, expanded access to justice and reduced case backlog.
“Colleagues and Compatriots, five years ago I stood on these steps of the Supreme Court Building and promised Kenyans that I was assuming the leadership of the Judiciary to reclaim its independence and have it play its crucial role in midwifing a nascent constitution…..
“Transformation has been about significant internal reorganisation – which is not too visible to the public but has a big bearing on the quality of our service to them; and, external re-orientation in the way we relate to the public – making the institution more sensitive, accountable and service-oriented………..
“We have also reduced case backlog, made the Judiciary more friendly, generated several administration of justice policies. And, importantly, the Judiciary has reclaimed and asserted its independence, and we have now succeeded in having the Judiciary Fund Act enacted” he said in his speech.
He urged judicial officers to “invest in winning public confidence and deepening public accountability, fighting, and resisting corruption, and paying attention to evidence and data” in order to succeed.
WILLY MUTUNGA TO SERVE AS COMMONWEALTH ENVOY TO MALDIVES
Dr Mutunga also announced that he will be taking up a new job as a Commonwealth Special Envoy to Maldives, following an appointed by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, the Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland. He is expected to aid in the process of constitutional and political transition.
JUSTICE IBRAHIM MOHAMMED TAKES CHIEF JUSTICE MANTLE
Dr Mutunga left the Supreme Court grounds after a brief ceremony whereby he delivered his last speech and symbolically handed over the administration of the Supreme Court to Justice Ibrahim Mohammed, who will now take over as President of the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 6 (2) of Supreme Court Act, which provides that in the absence of both the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice the senior most judge takes over the leadership until one or both positions are filled.
Kenya’s took to social media under the hashtag ##AdiosCJMutunga to share their farewell messages.
Ahmednasir Abdullahi: Why can’t Rawal and Tunoi like Willy look foward to a happy and well deserved retirement at 70 yrs? #AdiosCJMutunga
Machuka™ : Wish you @WMutunga thee farewell. You led as a good example, let the coming C.J follow your suit.
Gabriel Dolan: Activists never retire. They just relocate & reinvent themselves.
Leon Lidigu: A man is still a man even if they condemn him for doing his job well. Will we have another like you? Nope!
Ahmedkadar : @WMutunga you retired before your time, a rare thing in KE…speaks volume of Kenya you want for all
Raphael Obonyo : @WMutunga Happy Birthday. I remember 15 years ago hosting you in Koch. You are a true friend
Ahmed Mohamed: #AdiosCJMutunga for increasing the Kadhi Courts almost threefold hence giving Muslims a legal space. #ChoreaUkabila