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Former Chief Justice Evan Gicheru dies

By Lynette Mukami December 26th, 2020 2 min read

Retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru has passed away at the age of 79.

His death was announced Saturday morning by Chief Justice David Maraga.

CJ Maraga eulogised him as a steadfast public servant and humble human being.

“He brought honour to the office of the Chief Justice by ensuring that it became the indisputable custodian of integrity within the judiciary,” he said in a statement.

“The Kenya and Judiciary family have lost a steadfast public servant, a selfless professional and a humble human being,” he added.

Mr Gicheru retired on February 27, 2011 after serving in the key post for eight years.

He had taken over from former Chief Justice Bernard Chunga in 2003.

Before that, he had a long, chequered career in public service that began when he was appointed a District Officer in Wajir.

Later, he would serve as State counsel in the office of the Attorney General, before rising in rank through the years to become a High Court judge in 1982.

Ouko murder probe

He entered the public limelight when he was appointed to head the commission looking into the death of former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko in 1990. The Ouko Murder Commission of Inquiry, however, was disbanded soon after.

Kibaki swearing in

He will also be remembered for his role in former President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.

In one of the most memorable moments in Kenyan history, Gicheru swore Kibaki in at a hastily-convened ceremony on December 30, 2007 amid widespread protest.

The ceremony, which ushered in Kibaki’s second term in office, took place just before dusk.

Kibaki had just claimed victory in a controversial election whose final results were marred by accusations from both sides of multiple voting, disappeared returning officers and alleged doctoring.

In subsequent interviews, Gicheru maintained that he had acted in accordance with the Constitution.

He is survived by his wife and seven children.