Five things you didn’t know about retiring CJ Mutunga
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga exits the Judiciary Thursday during his 69th birthday. Dr Mutunga who was appointed in June 2011 has been instrumental in judicial reforms but not much is in the public on his personal life. Here are things you may not have known about Dr Mutunga:
1. He was legally married to two wives but divorced both
Dr Mutunga’s family life became public during a divorce case pitting his second wife Prof Bervele Michele Lax. His ex-wife accused him of being a pathological liar who kept an open relationship with the first wife, Rukia Athman, and lied about it as well as having other women outside their marriage.
2. He has been in three religions
The chief justice practiced African traditional religion as a child in Kitui until he was baptised as a Christian in 2001 but later converted to Islam.
3. He grew up in abject poverty
Dr Mutunga’s late father was a tailor at a shopping centre called Kilonzo in Nzambani area of Kitui County. Growing up, he attended Ithookwe Primary School and after performing very well he joined Kitui School later earning a place at Strathmore College due to his brilliance.
4. He loves children
Dr Mutunga has on several occasions shared photos of his grandchildren, Tai, Miriam, Jamal and others having a good time. He even sends Twitter birthday wishes to them. The Chief Justice has opened up his office to children, including famous street boy Morris Mwenda.
5. He had a tough stint in the civil society
Before his nomination to the office of the Chief Justice, Dr Mutunga had actively been leading the university staff union which resulting to accusations that he was part of an underground movement. He was detained days before the 1982 coup and on being released, he fled to Canada. On returning home, he chaired and later became the executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission.