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Evan Gicheru: Tributes pour in for fallen ex-CJ

President Uhuru Kenyatta has led Kenyans in mourning the passing on of retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru.

The President eulogised Mr Gicheru, who passed away earlier today at the age of 79, as a towering legal mind and a highly accomplished judge.

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

“It is sad that we have lost one of the greatest legal minds we have had in our country. 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.

The President pointed out that the major reforms undertaken by Justice Gicheru in the Judiciary have continued to be a source of hope for many Kenyans giving confidence that all citizens are equal before the law.

“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.

Deputy President William Ruto, on his part, has remembered the late Gicheru as “a legal giant who served our country with dedication and distinction”, saying he was a humble yet a tough-minded leader who contributed immensely to the advancement of the independence of the Judiciary.

“A committed public servant, Justice Gicheru will best be remembered for his ground-breaking work in restoring the faith of the public and trust in our justice system. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gicheru family, their loved ones and the legal fraternity during this painful time. Rest In Peace,” wrote the DP on Twitter.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga remembered the late Mr Gicheru as “a man on whose shoulders we placed the burden of returning the country to the rule of law”.

Mr Odinga said the retired chief justice would be remembered as a great legal mind who did his best under difficult circumstances.

“I remember Rtd Chief Justice Evans 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. My thoughts and prayers are with his family,” said Mr Odinga on Twitter.

Chief Justice David Maraga announced the demise of Mr Gicheru this morning after passing away at the age of 79.

CJ Maraga eulogised him as a steadfast public servant and humble human being who brought honour to the office of the Chief Justice by ensuring that it became the indisputable custodian of integrity within the judiciary.

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

On his part, Mombasa Governor 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,” wrote Mr Joho.

Bungoma Senator and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula eulogised Mr Gicheru as one of Kenya’s finest and honest judges who served his country with diligence and dedication.

“The passing on of Evan Gicheru, CJ Emeritus, brings to sunset an illustrious career of one of Kenya’s finest and honest judges who served his country with diligence and dedication. We shall miss his wise counsel. RIP my Lord,” he said.