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My life has literally changed, says Chief Justice

Chief Justice David Maraga on Saturday said that his appointment as head of the Judiciary had made his life more controlled and programmed.

Speaking during a church service at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Milimani, Kisumu, Mr Justice Maraga said his life “has literally changed since my appointment to the position”, and that he was trying his best to fit in.

In his first address to the congregation he led as an elder during his stint at the Court of Appeal in Kisumu, the CJ described how hard it had become to frequent some of his favourite hotels and social joints without attracting attention.

Mr Justice Maraga, a staunch SDA church elder who started his reign at the Supreme Court with a 20-minute prayer after being sworn in, also narrated to the church his journey to the top of the Judiciary, a position he said came as a surprise.

“Never did I think I will get to this position. When I applied, I thought it was a private affair between me and my family. Until elders from my church in Nairobi, Kisumu, and home began praying with me. With the new position, I find my life programmed. My life has literally changed,” said the CJ.

“What I have got I did not  bargain for and I believe it is  a God-given opportunity,” he added.

It was a nostalgic moment for Mr Justice Maraga when he came back to his former working station for the first time since he was appointed the Chief Justice.

“I left Kisumu on July 19 proceeding on my leave; By God’s grace I moved to the headquarters,” said an elated Mr Justice Maraga.

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He acknowledged the SDA elders for standing with him in prayers throughout his journey to being a CJ.

“I do not  compromise  church  matters because,  besides  being  the  Chief  Justice  of  Kenya, I am a  staunch  church elder,” said Mr Justice Maraga.
Mr Justice Maraga had, during his interview, insisted that he would not compromise his going to church on Saturday for whatever reason.

He had said that instead of sitting on Saturday, he would ask his colleagues to sit, including late on Fridays, to clear matters that may require sitting the next day.

He told Parliament that he was a “liberal Christian” but promised that he would not use his religious convictions to the disadvantage of other faiths.

The CJ has said he is committed to reduce the case backlog, digitise operations, protect the independence of the Judiciary, defend and uphold the Constitution, fight corruption and improve access to the courts, as part of his vision.

During his stint at the Appellate Court, Mr Justice Maraga and his team in Kisumu managed to clear close to 2,000 cases in the Western region. The most memorable occasion was when the judge led his team to deliver 54 cases in one day before they went on vacation.

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, who accompanied the CJ to the service, said the appointment of Mr Justice Maraga was an answer to his prayers.

“On the day your name was announced as one of the shortlisted candidates, I prayed that God gives us a leader who loves Him like you do. And, for sure, he did,” said the governor.

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