Jennifer Gitiri Wangui is an advocate of the high court of Kenya. As a legal practitioner, she has experience in international and human rights law.
Ms Gitiri, who holds a Head of the State Commendation (HSC), made headlines after she was accused of holding multiple public office jobs thus disadvantaging other deserving Kenyans.
While she reportedly holds 8 plum jobs, this is a far cry from where she began as a hopeless child whose future at some point looked bleak.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
Jennifer Gitiri Early Life
She was brought up in the slums where life was not easy. Sharing her journey on Compassion Australia, she revealed how they would at times go to bed hungry.
This changed when a family that had just lost their daughter in an accident decided to sponsor her through the Compassion program.
They saw a picture of the then 7-year-old Jennifer and decided to give her a chance for a better life. Through the organization, she also learnt about faith and gave her life to Christ.
While she did not know any lawyers, she wanted to become one in order to rectify the injustice she saw around her.
Jennifer Gitiri Education
Eventually, she graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi and a Postgraduate law diploma from Kenya School of Law.
Jennifer also holds two Master of Laws degrees in Comparative Constitutional Law and International Human Rights Law from Central European University and University of Oslo.
She also has a Doctor of Philosophy (Constitutional Law) from the University of Nairobi and is a certified public secretary.
Jennifer Gitiri Career
The professional has spoken in several forums around the world and defended the government of Kenya in international arbitrations at the Institutional Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
From 2010 to 2012, she worked as a Global Networking Officer at Norwegian Church Aid, Oslo.
In November 2012, she became a Senior state counsel at the office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice.
In April 2019, she joined the Assets Recovery Agency as a senior state counsel before becoming the principal secretary and deputy director, legal services and corporation secretary. She holds all the positions to date.
The lawyer was also appointed the acting secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Legal Education (CLE). In January 2023, she was also appointed to the Kenya Revenue Authority Board of Directors.
Dr. Magere Gikenyi, a medical practitioner based in Nakuru, filed a case against her at the Nakuru High court for holding multiple jobs.
According to the petition, she is accused of abusing administrative power by drawing salaries and allowances from the exchequer by holding eight public office jobs.
The jobs stated are:
- Deputy Director of Legal Services and Corporation Secretary of the Assets Recovery Agency
- The Acting Chief Executive Officer and Acting Secretary of the Council of Legal Education
- Board member representing the office of the Attorney General in the Kenya Law Reporting Council as the Representative of the Attorney General.
- Board member of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Witness protection Agency, the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission
- Director of Living Water Company.
Dr. Gikenyi also wanted her appointment at CLE revoked as she did not meet the legal requirement and that pending the determination of the case, she should not be allowed to sit in any board.