On Thursday, Chief Justice nominee, Martha Koome, appeared before the National Assembly for vetting, promising to resolve the stalemate between the arms of government.
Martha Koome, who is likely to become the first female Chief Justice in Kenya, spoke before the Parliamentary Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, where she was vetted on her suitability for the office.
— The Judiciary Kenya (@Kenyajudiciary) May 13, 2021
Bill to arbitrate stalemates
On the matter between the Judiciary, Executive, and Legislature, Koome said that the country needed harmony between the arms. However, the current setup did not allow for a middle ground between the three together in the event of a conflict.
Koome said that the MPs needed to consider coming up with a Bill to create an arbitration body. The body would help with stalemates between the three arms.
“There is no organ to help in the stalemates,” Koome said, “We should work together on a Bill to create an organ that will enhance the working relationship (between the arms) and in case of a stalemate, deal with it.”
Koome said that being a good negotiator and a peacemaker, she would employ all her skills to resolve such matters.
Koome also said that she was open to any intervention to ensure accountability and efficiency of the judiciary. She was speaking with regards to the proposal in the BBI to create an Ombudsman in the judiciary.
The matter of a judiciary ombudsman appointed by the President was something former Chief Justice, David Maraga, was firmly against. Maraga said when left to appointment by the President, it would result in the executive interfering in the judiciary. Maraga recommended an ombudsman appointed by the JSC.
Koome also staunchly refused to entertain the thought of lowering the age of consent. Koome said that the age for sexual responsibility should remain at 18. She said that anyone under the age of 18 still required guidance and care. Thus, her opposition to lowering the age for sexual responsibility.
Martha Koome vetting in parliament pic.twitter.com/2mtEsSduwM
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) May 13, 2021