Justice Said Chitembwe broke down when appearing before the panel interviewing him for the Chief Justice position.
The High Court judge couldn’t hold back his tears while expressing how some government arms misused the judiciary.
Chitembwe was responding to a corruption case, which he was charged but acquitted later.
The then Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in 2009 Oriri Onyango, noted the Attorney General had plans of prosecuting additional suspects in connection with selling land belonging to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in Nairobi.
While serving as Corporation Secretary of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Chitembwe faced office abuse charges, which he denied.
However, while addressing the panel amid suppressed tears on Monday, Chitembwe stated, “If an accused appears before you and raises his hand, hear him.”
Justice Chitembwe had to switch off his microphone while fighting back the tears before being offered a box of tissue.
Evelyn Olwande, one of the commissioners, gave Chitwembe a few minutes to compose himself.
“Please take your time, honourable judge,” he was told.
After collecting himself, the judge said it made sense when people were prosecuted because it was the DPP’s mandate.
Talking while his voice was still breaking, the High Court judge said, “As you sift through cases presented before you, knowing what has been brought to serve others and the genuine case is important.”
He also cited that it wasn’t necessary for granting bail to take an entire month. Instead, one could deny the accused bail so that they transfer the case to a different court.
Transforming the judiciary
Chitembwe further noted that he didn’t have plans of bringing a new agenda to the judiciary.
Justice Chitembwe responded to Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, who inquired about the transformation he would bring to the judiciary as the incoming CJ.
Following his ruling in 2016 regarding releasing a man who defiled a 13-year-old, his date with the Judicial Service Commission will determine if he’s the most suitable candidate to replace David Maraga.
Chitembwe said Kenya should develop new laws determining the age at which a girl is mature for sex. This, he said, would avoid jailing individuals who engaged in consensual sex with girls below 18 years.