Martha Karambu Koome officially became Kenya’s first woman Chief Justice on Wednesday, May 19 following her appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The President gazetted Justice Koome to head the Judiciary for a non-renewable 10-year term, just hours after Parliament approved her nomination by the Judicial Service Commission.
Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo was among the members of parliament who were full of praise for Justice Koome.
In her remarks on Wednesday, Millie congratulated Koome and proposed that she be deputised by the current Acting CJ Philomena Mwilu.
According to Millie, this would go some way in addressing the gender disparity in the allocation of top seats in Kenya.
“I am hoping Mr. Speaker, that we will not then hound the deputy out of office because she is a woman. In this country, there are many men holding multiple positions and nobody has hounded them out because they are men,” Millie argued.
She went on: “Let us have a lady Chief Justice and a Deputy Chief Justice who is another woman. Let us not hound the other woman out of office.”
The outspoken lawmaker described Chief Justice Koome as passionate, focused, and clear on the things she stands for.
“She is also passionate about the things I am passionate about. She is passionate about women’s rights and she is passionate about children’s rights… I can vouch for her competence.”
Millie at the same time said Koome’s ascension to Head of the judiciary had motivated her to run for presidency.
“I will be the first woman president after Raila Odinga and I am speaking from my mouth to God’s ear.”