Marriage isn’t a ticket to riches through property sharing, Justice Martha Koome tells panel

Justice Martha Koome. [Photo: Capital News]

Justice Martha Koome of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday told the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that marriage is not a guarantee for riches through property belonging to the spouse.

Justice Koome said that she views it from the angle that her property which she has worked for is not her husband’s and vice versa.

She said this kind of thinking would help alleviate the challenge that has been there of spouses enriching themselves through marriage because they demand a share of the property even if they did not work for it.

“If I got married today and I have some property, my spouse is not entitled to it. And if I got married and my husband has some property, I am not entitled to it because that is his property,” she said.

She explained that a spouse could only demand for a share of the property from the other spouse if they have lived together and worked jointly in accumulation or purchase of property.

“When you stay together and develop this property then either party in the marriage acquires occupational rights,” she said.

Her response came about after Justice Mohamed Warsame who is part of the JSC panel interviewing shortlisted candidates to fil the Chief Justice position.

Justice Warsame sought to know to her stand on matters equality in the 21st century.

She defended her zeal to become Kenya’s next Chief Justice saying that women can lead the Judiciary as good as men who have be held the position for donkey years.

“Being a CJ is like a driver. Whoever sits on the driver’s seat, as long as they have the license, the car will move. To me leadership and interpersonal skill is what I need for the CJ job.”

Before her appointment as a Judge, she had practiced her law career as and advocate and rose through the ranks to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Koome has 33 years of experience in the legal field.