Justin Muturi: From Speaker to Kenya’s next Attorney-General

Justin Muturi

Former Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi was appointed as the country's next Attorney General.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

The two-term National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi is now set to become the 8th Attorney-General (AG) of the country following his nomination by President William Ruto on Tuesday.

He is awaiting the approval of the National Assembly. He will replace Justice (Rtd) Paul Kihara Kariuki who was sworn in April 2018 as the 7th AG by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Muturi’s rise comes after going against the wishes of his longtime friend Mr Kenyatta not to support Dr Ruto’s presidential ambition.

He had initially announced that he will vie for the Presidency through the Democratic Party (DP).

He joined Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance in April, four months to the General Election. This was in the wake of heated politics across the country and he actively campaigned for Dr Ruto.

The AG's tenure of office follows the cycle of the General Election.

According to Article 156(3) of the Constitution, the qualifications for appointment as AG are the same as for appointment to the office of Chief Justice (CJ).

Article 166(3) states that the ChiefJustice should possess at least 15 years’ experience as a superior court judge or at least 15 years’ experience as a distinguished academic, judicial officer, legal practitioner or such experience in other relevant legal field.

Or held the qualifications specified above for a period amounting, in the aggregate, to 15 years.

Mr Muturi served as seventh Speaker of the National Assembly for two terms (2013-2022) and was the first Speaker following the re-establishment of a bicameral Parliament under the 2010 Constitution.

He graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Law degree in 1981 and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1982.

Mr Muturi served as a principal magistrate between 1982 and 1997 before retiring from judicial service to enter politics.

He was first elected to parliament in 1999 as MP for Siakago in a by-election following the death of then MP Silas Ita.

He was re-elected in 2002 and served as opposition chief whip and chair of the Public Investment Committee in the 10th Parliament. He lost his reelection bids in 2007 and 2013.

Once he is appointed, Mr Muturi will become the principal legal adviser to the President.