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Thursday March 5, 2020 - In what will be the biggest test for the handshake, President Uhuru Kenyatta Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s advisers are rooting for different candidates to succeed Chief Justice David Maraga when he exits the helm of the judicial service early next year.
Maraga has already signaled his intention to leave early to take up a UN job.
Already, the JSC has set in motion the process of recruiting the next Chief Justice by prioritising it for funding in the 2020/21 financial year.
Maraga’s succession is billed as a high-stakes race since Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu is battling a petition filed at the JSC by the Director of Public Prosecution and the Director of Criminal Investigations demanding her removal over abuse of office.
Another Supreme Court judge, Justice Jackton Ojwang’ retired last month upon attaining the mandatory retirement age for judges of 70 years.
According to sources, Uhuru is under pressure by a section of his handlers pushing for Solicitor General Ken Ogeto to replace his fellow Kisiiman, David Maraga, at the highest judicial office.
Majority of the Kenyatta family are for Ogeto since he helped their kin at the ICC.
In fact, the naming of Ogeto as Solicitor General was to lay ground for him to land the plum slot of the CJ.
But Raila is not comfortable with Ogeto as Chief Justice and is reportedly rooting for Supreme Court Judge, Justice Susanna Njoki Ndung’u, to succeed Maraga.
Sources reveal that Raila is eyeing the Mount Kenya votes as a bloc hence his choice for Njoki Ndung’u.
Justice Ndung’u was also a student of Raila’s wife, Ida, at Kenya High School in the 1980s where Ida taught Geography.
Raila is also citing Ndung’u’s impressive credentials such as defending democracy and human rights as the ideal traits the next Chief Justice should have besides the gender factor.
Kenya has never had a female Chief Justice or Attorney General.
Justice Ndung’u holds both a Masters in Law degree in Human Rights and Civil Liberties and a diploma in Women’s Rights.
The Kenyan DAILY POST