Kenya: Raila, Uhuru and Kibaki Pay Tribute to Ex-CJ Evan Gicheru

26 December 2020

ODM leader Raila Odinga is among leaders who have reacted to the death of Retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru.

In a message posted on his official Twitter page, Mr Odinga struck a conciliatory tone when remembering the man who once swore in his ex-political rival, former President Mwai Kibaki, at a dusk ceremony in December 2007 following a bitterly disputed General Election.

"I remember Rtd Chief Justice Evan Gicheru as a great legal mind and the man on whose shoulders we placed the burden of returning the country to the Rule of Law after the 2002 transition. He did his best under difficult circumstances," the former Prime Minister said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family," he added.

Gicheru's death was announced by Chief Justice David Maraga on Saturday morning.

Uhuru tribute

President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned the retired Chief Justice as a towering legal mind and highly accomplished judge.

In his message of comfort and encouragement to his family and friends, Mr Kenyatta said Kenya had lost a great leader whose contribution to the development of the legal sector, especially independence of the Judiciary, has continued to sharpen the country's democracy.

"Justice Gicheru worked tirelessly during his time at the helm of the Judiciary to ensure that the country's democracy continued to thrive," said the Head of State.

"Having worked in different places within the civil service, the late Chief Justice knew the importance of having an independent judiciary as a guarantor of national peace and harmony," he added.

He also pointed out that major reforms undertaken by Justice Gicheru in the Judiciary have continued to be a source of hope for many Kenyans.

"As a country we will forever be grateful for the judicial reforms Justice Gicheru pushed through during his successful tenure as the top judge. He brought freshness to the legal system and will be remembered for his relentless fight against impunity and corruption in the corridors of justice," said the President.

Mwai Kibaki

Former President Mwai Kibaki also paid tribute to Gicheru, eulogising him as a "consummate public servant whose integrity, sense of rectitude and assiduousness were unsurpassed".

In his condolence message, Mr Kibaki said the late CJ distinguished himself as a firm yet honourable and impartial overseer of Kenya's jurisprudential affairs.

"The late Justice Gicheru leaves behind a richly bedecked legacy of service to the public wrought in humility and selflessness. May his soul rest in eternal peace," he said.

Joho tribute

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho eulogised Mr Gicheru as a prominent son of Kenya who the cruel hand of death has yet again claimed.

"On behalf of the people of Mombasa I extend our profound condolences & sympathies to the judicial fraternity and the family of the retired Chief Justice Evans Gicheru," said Joho.

Kalonzo

Former Vice President and Wiper Party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, has remembered the late Gicheru as a modest man who served Kenya with great passion and love.

"Justice Gicheru was committed to the realisation and belief of an independent judicial arm of government. He will be remembered as a modest man who served this country with great passion and love. He literally lived the high calling of a judge. May his soul Rest in Peace," he said on Twitter.

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