Gicheru stood for Judiciary’s independence, Maraga says of ex-CJ

Evan Gicheru's Karen home

From left: Chief Justice David Maraga, Court of Appeal President William Ouko, Justice Lydia Achode and Justice Maureen Onyango on December 26, 2020 condole Margaret Gicheru (right) the widow of former Chief Justice Evan Gicheru at her Karen home.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

The late retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru will be laid to rest on Thursday, December 31, 2020, the family has said.

His widow, Margaret Gicheru, said that Mr Gicheru, who passed on Friday morning, will be buried before the turn of the New Year.

Speaking at their Karen home Saturday, Ms Gicheru said that her husband passed on after battling illness for a while.

Chief Justice David Maraga, Attorney-General Paul Kihara, President of the Court of Appeal William Ouko, High Court Judge Lydia Achode and Employment and Labour Relations Court Principal Judge Maureen Onyango visited the family on Saturday.

CJ Maraga remembered Mr Gicheru as the person who laid the foundation of the independence of Judiciary currently being enjoyed in the country and an honest person of unquestionable integrity who abhorred dishonesty.

He said it Mr Gicheru who admitted him and Mr Kihara High Court judges in 2003 before posting him to Mombasa.

Chief Justice David Maraga

Chief Justice David Maraga addresses mourners at the Karen home of the late former CJ Evan Gicheru on December 26, 2020.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Loved honest people

“He was firm and if he transferred you to a new station then you had to go there before raising any concerns. He loved honest people because he was himself an honest person,” said Mr Maraga.

Mr Gicheru served as Kenya’s chief justice between 2003 and 2011. He was succeeded by Dr Willy Mutunga who retired in 2016.

Mr Maraga recalled how the late Gicheru withstood pressure and demands of the executive during the commission of inquiry on the death of former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko.

“As the chief justice, he studiously fought for the independence of the Judiciary. He never called a judge over any ongoing case. He believed in the independence of the Judiciary,” he said.

Independence of Judiciary

This, he said, laid the foundation for the independence of the Judiciary that has been maintained by successive chief justices.

The CJ remembered how the late Gicheru could not recognise him when he had visited him a while back, showing the extent of how his health had deteriorated.

Mr Maraga said plans are already underway to accord the retired chief justice a State burial befitting his status as a long serving senior civil servant and a former head of an arm of the government.

“I called the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and the two Speakers of Parliament and arrangements are being made about the funeral of Mr Gicheru as a senior civil servant. We are in constant talks with the family and the burial has been slated for Thursday, December 31, 2020,” CJ Maraga said.


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