Dr Imaana Laibuta sworn in as Kenya’s first blind judge
On Friday June 4, Dr Imaana Laibuta was sworn in as Kenya’s first blind judge at State House, Nairobi. The ceremony was attended by President Uhuru Kenyata and Chief Justice Martha Koome.
Laibuta was promoted to Court of Appeal judge after Uhuru accepted his proposal led by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
“I, Imaana Laibuta, Judge of the Court of Appeal, solemnly affirm in the name of Almighty God to diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya to solemnly deliver justice in accordance with the Constitution as established by the law.
“Without fear, favor, partiality, affection, ill will or prejudice or any political, religious or other influence in the exercise of all the judicial functions entrusted to me”, he swore, adding that he would defend the Constitution.
Court of Appeal and various divisions of the High Court at State House, Nairobi for their swearing-in ceremony presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, June 4, 2021.
Laibuta lost his sight at the age of 22 while in his first year of university studies. According to him, it was a purely medical accident.
“I was treated for malaria, I was treated with chloroquine, I was addicted to chloroquine and my eyesight was gone within two hours. sudden total loss of sight, you are in shock, confusion, you are derailed from your normal course in life; be it school, college, work, etc.
“The bitterness was more that the medical staff had no idea what was going on. Some consultants would say, ‘Oh no, this is only temporary, it will wear off in a year or so. “So you’re like a guinea pig in a hospital for a month and 10 days subjected to all kinds of tests. Finally, I left the hospital not knowing what happened. But what I know for sure is that. ‘is that it came out of this treatment, he said in a previous interview.
The judge is also a part-time golf player.
Prior to his promotion, Laibuta was commissioner at the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (Kenya). He is a Chartered Arbitrator (CArb) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).
The professor was a lawyer at the High Court of Kenya for 26 years. He is also a Law Society of Kenya Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Facilitator in Arbitration.
He was also a professor of law for 24 years, and a certified tutor and trainer, examiner, moderator and assessor for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Outside Kenya, Laibuta has served as chair of the board of the Kenya Overseas Volunteer Services Section. [VSO-Jitolee (EA) Volunteering], Member of the Executive Board of the Kenya Society for the Blind and Chairman of the Education and Rehabilitation Committee.
The appellate judge has co-facilitated numerous consultative workshops, seminars and conferences organized by the IDP Africa Forum, the UNDPK, the Kenya Society for the Blind and the Law Reform Commission on the United Nations Convention and related national legislation. the rights of persons with disabilities.
In Botswana, he worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government of Botswana (Ministry of Health) for the development of the National Disability Policy. Laibuta holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law, University of Nairobi, Faculty of Law (2009-2012)
A Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the London School of Economics (University of London), a Graduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law and a Graduate Diploma in Law. He is also a qualified mediator having studied Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of California, United States.
“May your actions and decisions be guided only by an impartial and faithful application of the constitution and our written laws; our principles and values as a nation; and the higher interests of justice ”, Uhuru Laibuta said during his swearing-in ceremony.