The news was confirmed by outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga who issued an official statement on behalf of the Judiciary
The cause of death of the man who served the longest term by any African Chief Justice in Kenya’s history is yet to be established.
Gicheru was appointed as the Chief Justice by President Mwai Kibaki upon his election in 2003 and finally retired on 27 February 2011.
“I am deeply saddened to announce the demise of retired Chief Justice Evans Gicheru which occurred this morning.
“Justice Gicheru had a lengthy career in the public service, which started when he was appointed a District Officer in Wajir,” read Maraga’s statement in part.
He worked as a Senior State Counsel in the Office of the Attorney-General and as an administrative officer in the Office of the President, before joining the Judiciary as a Judge of the High Court in 1982.
The retired CJ was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal in 1988, a position he held for 15 years before being appointed as the Chief Justice.
“Justice Gicheru will forever be remembered for his role in entrenching judicial independence in Kenya, ending the tradition where the Judiciary took instructions from the Executive in the discharge of its daily functions.
“He brought honour to the office of the Chief Justice by ensuring that it became the indisputable custodian of integrity within the Judiciary,” noted Maraga.
The outgoing CJ who is set for retirement in January 2021 added that Kenya and the Judiciary family have lost a steadfast public servant, a selfless professional, and humble human being.
Gicheru will famously be remembered for his role as the chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the disappearance and subsequent death of Foreign Affairs Minister Robert Ouko.