Philomena Mwilu – Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Kenya
Justice Philomena Mwilu full name is Philomena Mbete Mwilu. She is the Deputy Chief Justice of the Kenya Supreme Court. She has had a long career in the Kenya Judiciary which spans for over 32 years.
Justice Philomena Mwilu has succeeded retired justice Kalpana Rawal as the third Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice.
Philomena Mbete Mwilu Educational Background
Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu graduated from the University of Nairobi and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1984.
Philomena Mbete Mwilu Job History, Judicial Career
- 1984 – 1991: Philomena Mbete Mwilu began her judicial career by practising law in the firm of Muthoga Gaturu & Company and later went to Mutunga & Company Advocates.
- June 1991 – April 1997: Justice Philomena Mwilu thereafter worked at Jubilee Insurance Company Ltd as a senior legal manager.
- 1999 and 2001: Board secretary at the Electricity Regulatory board
- 2006 – 2007: The deputy chairperson of the Energy Tribunal.
- 2007: Director of the Board of Nairobi Water and Sewerage company and later as chair of the Legal and Human Resource Committees of the Board before she joined the Judiciary
- She first served in the Commercial Division in Nairobi and later transferred to the High Court in Eldoret.
- She was later transferred to Nairobi where she served at the Criminal Division and later headed the Environment and Land Division of the High Court, between February and December 2011.
- In January 2012, she was appointed the head of the Environment and Land Division of the High Court and in November of the same year, she was elevated to the Court of Appeal
Philomena Mbete Mwilu Life History
Justice Philomena Mwilu has a legacy of paying attention to issues pertaining the welfare of her colleagues. While working at Eldoret High Court, she noticed that a number of magistrates had a drinking problem and so she initiated counselling and bonding sessions with judicial officers to assist them.
During her vetting period, Justice Philomena Mwilu was accused by Kandara MP Alice Wahome of incompetency and corruption. MP Alice Wahome had filed a petition with the Justice and Legal Affairs committee, claiming that the judge was incompetent and corrupt.
But Justice Mwilu told the committee that the claims by Alice Wahome emanated from a ruling in an International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) case challenging the appointment of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which Wahome lost. Ms Mwilu said since the MP, who is also a lawyer, lost the case in 2011, she had been on a mud-slinging mission against her.
MP Alice Wahome also claimed that Justice Mwilu had received money to dismiss an election case in which she (Wahome) had contested the election of her predecessor, Maina Kamau. But Mwilu denied the allegations, saying she had never received a bribe. The case has not been settled to date and Wahome accused the judge of incompetence. The judge however pointed out that the MP had walked out of the court when she was meant to testify.
Justice Mwilu admitted there were rampant cases of sexual harassment within the courts and that she had been a victim of the same.
Justice Philomena Mwilu supports Polygamy
During an interview by the JSC, Justice Philomena Mwilu said she supported polygamy “as long as there is peace in the family.”