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Evan Gicheru to be buried on Thursday

The late retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru will be laid to rest on Thursday, December 31, the family has said.

The wife to the retired chief justice, Margaret Gicheru, said that Mr Gicheru, who passed on on Friday morning, will be buried before the turn of the New Year.

Speaking at their Karen Home, Mrs Gicheru said her husband passed away after battling illness for a while.

The family had been visited by Chief Justice David Maraga, Attorney General Paul Kihara, President of the Court of Appeal William Ouko, Principal Judge of the High Court Lady Justice Lydia Achode and Labour Court Principal Judge Lady Justice Maureen Onyango.

CJ Maraga remembered Mr Gicheru as the person who laid the foundation of Judicial independence being enjoyed in the country and an honest person of unquestionable integrity who abhorred dishonesty.

He said it is the retired chief justice who admitted Mr Kihara and himself as high court judges in 2003 before posting him to Mombasa.

“He was firm and if he transferred you to a new station then you had to go there before raising any concerns. He loved honest people because he was himself an honest person,” said Mr Maraga.

Mr Gicheru served as Kenya’s chief justice between 2003 and 2011 before being succeeded by former Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga then followed by Mr Maraga.

The CJ recalled how the late Justice Gicheru withstood pressure during the commission of inquiry into the murder of then Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Robert Ouko, standing against the demands of the Executive during the President Daniel Moi era.

“As the Chief Justice, he studiously fought for the independence of the judiciary. He never called a judge over any ongoing case. He believed in the independence of the judiciary,” he added.

This, he said, laid the foundation for the independence of the judiciary that has been maintained by successive chiefs justice.

The CJ remembered how the late Gicheru could not recognise him when he had visited him a while back, showing the extent of the deterioration of his health.

Mr Maraga said plans are already underway to accord the retired justice a State burial befitting his status as a long serving senior civil servant and a former head of an arm of the government.

“I called the head of the public service Joseph Kinyua and the two speakers of Parliament and arrangements are being made about the funeral of Mr Gicheru as a senior civil servant. We are in constant talks with the family and the burial has been slated for Thursday, December 31, 2020,” the CJ said.