Capital FM (Nairobi)

3 January 2014

Kenya: Missing Former CJ Gicheru Found Alive in Forest

Nairobi — Former Chief Justice Evan Gicheru has been found alive in the forest following a nightlong search, after he went missing from a resort in the Aberdares.

According to the Nyeri head of police operations Ephantus Kiura, the former Chief Justice went missing from the resort where he was staying with his family after going for a stroll in the expansive game reserve.

Kiura explained that the former CJ was doing well after medics were called to the scene to assess his medical condition.

"Justice Gicheru reached here with his family yesterday evening where they had tea and then he went for a stroll. He did not coming back prompting a search party to be formed to go and look for him. However, He was found this morning, and he was treated and has now been airlifted to Nairobi. His family has also gone with him," he said.

"He had sat down somewhere on the side of the road but he looked exhausted. That is normal, this together with the cold of the night, would definitely have affected him. He had already checked in before he decided to stroll because the area is secure and it is when he got lost," he said.

Gicheru's appointment by Former President Mwai Kibaki in 2003 came after the suspension of the then Chief Justice Bernard Chunga.

At the time he was appointed to the office of CJ, the Judiciary was under the spotlight and the threshold of judicial reforms was on a scale not previously witnessed.

When he took over, Gicheru pledged to end the culture of missing files and delayed court cases.

He was in charge when there was radical surgery of the Judiciary that saw half of the magistrates and a third of judges lose their jobs.

A section of lawyers had earlier wanted him to resign after the hurried swearing-in of President Mwai Kibaki following the disputed 2007 presidential elections.

The Law Society of Kenya, in a statement in January 2008, said part of the problem the political impasse at that time could not be taken to court was that, the public was not confident that the CJ was impartial.

His greatest challenge had been the steering the Judiciary through unprecedented reforms and thereafter keeping abreast of contemporary best practices in the administration of justice.

Justice Gicheru was appointed a judge of the High Court of Kenya in 1982.

He was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal after six years, where he served until February 2003, when he was appointed Chief Justice.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Justice Gicheru had worked as Senior State Counsel in the office of the Attorney General and as an administrative officer in the Office of the President.

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