Monday, December 14, 2020 – Outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga has written a letter to his deputy, Philomena Mwilu, notifying her that he has transferred all his powers to her until another Chief Justice is appointed.

In the letter dated Thursday, December 10, Maraga stated that he has transferred all his powers to Mwilu until a substantive CJ is appointed.

The retiring CJ cited articles 161 and 163 of the Constitution in his directive.

Article 161 establishes the office of the DCJ, while article 163 gives power to the Supreme Court and defines its members, including the Chief Justice and his deputy.

However, some lawyers with experience in constitutional matters argued that the wording of Justice Maraga’s letter is irrelevant as the law spells out the duties that his deputy can and cannot take on before the appointment of a substantive CJ.

Some of the functions that are reserved exclusively for a substantive CJ include admitting of advocates to the High Court bar, transfer of judges, advising the President to dissolve Parliament and issuance of guidelines on how court cases will be conducted.

Maraga transferring powers to Mwilu also comes at a time the DCJ has several corruption cases facing her.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will not be happy with the move since he accuses Mwilu of being the face of corruption in the Judiciary.


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