By Constance Ndeleko
Lady Justice Martha Koome receives runners up UN Kenya -person of the year 2020 awards in regards to her advocacy for the rights of children in conflict with the law and child victims.
The court of appeal judge received the accolade in recognition for chairing the National Committee on Administration of Justice (NCAJ) Special Taskforce on children matters that highlighted the plight of children in the justice system.
Lady Justice Koome who was appointed High Court judge in 2003 after 15 years of practice, served as chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) between 1999 and 2003.
Since 2002, the UN in Kenya, in keeping with the ideals of the Organization, has awarded and recognized individuals who are an inspiration to all Kenyans.
In her words she mentioned, “I am accepting this nomination. I do so to celebrate and affirm that our children are indeed a gift from God,” she proceed by mentioning that, we all stand in the position of local parents for children, be it those in the streets or a remand home.’ She went on to say that the society is to blame if a child is not in a good place.
She expound that due to the current pandemic the taskforce sourced for laptops and supplied them to children’s remand homes to ensure cases touching on children in conflict with the law are heard during the Covid-19 pandemic without interruptions. This particular taskforce also reviewed the Children’s Act to align it with the Constitution that was promulgated in August 2010.
Among others who have been been commended by UN includes second runners up Ms. Wawira Njiru for her outstanding leadership during this pandemic period by serving 2 million meals to school children and their parents.
A team of 15 students from Kenyatta University who are the winners of the UN-Kenya Person of the year 2020 award, have been applauded for their work who on learning of a shortage of ventilators due to increased demand occasioned by the global pandemic, developed affordable mechanical ventilators using locally available material to assist COVID-19 patients. The Kenyatta University students are from the engineering, nursing, medicine and pharmacy schools.