3 Things Martha Koome Must Swear to Do as she Becomes First Female Chief Justice

Justice Martha Koome.

  • Dr Willy Mutunga was the first person to hold the office of the Chief Justice after the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010
  • Justice David Maraga was the second Chief Justice after Mutunga and the first Office holder to nullify a presidential election in the history of Kenya
  • Justice Martha Koome is the first woman to be Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya 

A FRESH smell of air is blowing across Kenya’s Judiciary and the general leadership as Justice Martha Koome prepares to be sworn in as the first woman Chief Justice and the third President of the Supreme Court since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

From the first-ever Chief Justice under the Constitution of Kenya 2010 Dr W Mutunga to the no-nonsense Justice David Kenani Maraga and now to Justice Koome, all eyes are on what she says when she assumes the instruments of power.

Every officeholder has to swear or affirm the oath of office as required by the law as this will be used to judge the officeholder once their time comes.

Here, we shall explore the three main things that Justice Koome has no choice but to swear she will do as she takes the reign at the Supreme Court and at the top of the one arm of the Executive.

She will swear or affirm this in the name of God, hence it requires full adherence and fidelity.

Justice Martha Koome, the new Chief Justice.
  1. Serve the people and the Republic of Kenya.

As she will be reading her oath of office, the first thing she will swear to do is to serve the People, then the Republic of Kenya.

The people, Kenyans reign supreme as they have delegated their power to the Office of the Chief Justice hence the Office has to serve them first.

Under the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Preamble bears it all at how the people, who acknowledge the Supremacy of the Almighty God, adopted, enacted and gave the Constitution to themselves and their future generations.

In the first chapter and article of the Constitution, the sovereignty power of Kenyans is well captured. This explains why Kenyans come first in the oath of office to be sworn by the Office holder.

“I, ……………………………………………..………, (The Chief Justice/President of the Supreme Court, a judge of the Supreme Court, a judge of the Court of Appeal, a judge of the High Court) do (swear in the name of the Almighty God)/(solemnly affirm) to diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya…” reads part of the oath.

  1. Impartially do justice as the Constitution of Kenya 2010

The second thing the new Chief Justice has to swear is to do justice to Kenyans without any fear, favour, bias, affection, ill-will and prejudice or any political, religious or any other influence.

Justice Martha Koome, like her predecessors, must at all times put this at the back of her mind or get kicked out should she contravene either of them.

Like Mutunga and Maraga, she will be put to test on her political leaning should there arise a Presidential petition while she’s in office.

“…and to impartially do Justice in accordance with this Constitution as by law established, and the laws and customs of the Republic, without any fear, favour, bias, affection, ill-will, prejudice or any political, religious or other influence…” she will swear or affirm this.

A screen shot of the oath of office for the Chief Justice.
  1. Protect, administer and defend the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Lastly, she will be required to swear in the name of God to always protect the Constitution. She will not allow anybody, or anything to tamper with the Constitution.

In the event that the Constitution comes under any attack, she will have to defend it just like she will have had affirmed in her oath in the name of God.

“…In the exercise of the judicial functions entrusted to me, I will at all times, and to the best of my knowledge and ability, protect, administer and defend this Constitution with a view to upholding the dignity and the respect for the judiciary and the judicial system of Kenya and promoting fairness, independence, competence and integrity within it. (So help me God.),” she will swear before assuming office.