If yesterday’s speech by the new Chief Justice during the handing over ceremony is anything to go by, then Martha Koome made it clear what her approach is expected to be like as she takes over the reigns of power in one of the arms of the government.
So critical was the speech against the very arm that she will be leading, that she even went on to quote Mutunga who made an equally harsh speech, but while rebuking the old Judiciary which he was taking over from, and which was burdened by ghosts of the past.
One would have been forgiven for thinking that the attack was either from the executive or perhaps even the legislature.
The former Court of Appeal Judge went as far as insinuating that the Judiciary was actually captured.
Chief Justice Koome, who had moments earlier, been handed the instruments of power by the previously acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, started her harsh criticism by quoting a speech by Willy Mutunga.
It is worth noting that while Willy Mutunga was rebuking the Judiciary at a time when it was just coming out of the old order, and was still burdened by vestiges of the old regimes and the old constitution, Martha Koome used her speech to criticise a relatively reformed Judiciary of her predecessor, Chief Justice David Maraga.
She quoted Mutunga as saying that the Judiciary had been captured by the private sector, the civil society, ethnic kingpins, and even, specific influential families. Finishing this quote, she then went ahead to declare that much hadn’t changed since Mutunga said this, and that the Judiciary still continues to face the same challenges, and operates under the same dangers that Mutunga decried.
She also said that due to the high number of corruption cases which had been brought to the courts, the sensitivity of such cases made the courts prone to corruption. She even went on to allude to the Judiciary as the “parking lot of corruption”.
Criticism of such kind, and with such words, have previously been issued by allies of the president.