Judiciary has changed significantly over the last five years – Mutunga

Judiciary has changed significantly over the last five years - Mutunga

Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga has dismissed an activist phrase that has been associated with his leadership as he made his farewell address to the Senate ahead of his retirement on Thursday, June 16th, 2016.

In a first of its kind address by a sitting Chief Justice, Mutunga instead chose to reclaim the face of the Judiciary by highlighting key achievements during his tenure.

“The Judiciary has changed significantly, in ways seen and unseen. First, the Judiciary has gallantly defended and protected the Constitution even when it might have been politically convenient not to do so,” noted the CJ.

“We have reduced case backlog from an estimated one million cases in 2011 to 420,000 in June 2016, and declining. We have re-asserted the independence of the Judiciary.”

And while Mutunga took pride in the achievements made in the last five years including reclaiming public confidence in the institution, improved access to justice and improved internal organization of the Judiciary among others, the CJ pointed out the corruption cases that rocked his tenure in the Judiciary saying it was as a result of his policy of transparency.

“The cartels and bandits fought us viciously, using their beach heads in National Assembly, the Executive and the Media but we prevailed,” said the CJ.

Mutunga was appointed to the office of the Chief Justice in June 2011.

He was among twelve applicants in a televised interview by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Mutunga’s appointment faced opposition from various interest groups, the church and various religious sections of the society for donning a single earring, something often associated with women.

Mutunga, however, asserted that the earring was a source of ancestral inspiration and not related to his sexuality.

Despite his tenure coming to an end next year, Mutunga opted for an early retirement saying that it will allow JSC enough time to interview and recruit his replacement before the next year’s General Election set for August 8th.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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