October 23, 2016: For the first time in Kenyan history, a Seventh-day Adventist has been sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

In the vetting process for his new position, David Maraga, Chief Justice, had warned that practice of his faith would always take precedence over his work.

Specifically addressing his beliefs on Saturday Sabbath-keeping, Maraga told the Judicial Service Commission that “it would be very difficult for me to sit on a Saturday to hear a case.”

He added that he “would rather talk with my colleagues in the court to accommodate me and exempt me from sitting if the hearing extends to a Saturday.”

Maraga was sworn in on Wednesday, October 19. Although he is the first Adventist Supreme Court Chief Justice, Maraga is not the first Adventist to serve on the country’s Supreme Court. Mary Angawa, also an Adventist, previously served as Supreme Court judge.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyata challenged the premier judge to improve relations between the Judiciary and other arms of judgement.

Kenyata stressed the urgent need to deal with a backlog of 20,000 cases, as well as 600 corruption cases that were slow to be processed by the Supreme Court.

Photo by Carltdpp via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0