Dr. Kibaya Imaana Laibuta did not receive any special mention apart from the fact that he was the only advocate in private practice picked when the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) announced the list of 11 nominees for appointment as Court of Appeal judges two years ago.
On Friday though, Dr. Laibuta made history when he was sworn in at State House Kenya. He became the country’s first blind judge.
The lawyer, whose blindness was caused by chloroquine poisoning in a botched malaria treatment was a senior lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya by the time of his appointment.
How Dr. Imaana Laibuta Lost Eye Sights.
Dr Laibuta lost his sight at age 22 while in first year at the university.
“It was purely a medical accident. I got treated for malaria, got treated with Chloroquine, got chloroquine poisoning and my sight went in two hours. The first thing you are confronted with is shock unless the loss of sight is gradual and you know it is coming. When it is a sudden loss of total sight, you are thrown into shock, confusion, you are derailed from your normal course in life; be it school, college, or work,” Dr. Laibuta has previously said.
Dr. Imaana Laibuta Career Profile
Dr. Laibuta holds LLB (UoN), an LLM (LSE), an LLD (UoN), and is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. He is a recipient of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholarship Award.
Dr. Laibuta served as a commissioner in the defunct Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, which was established to ensure smooth implementation of the 2010 Constitution.
Dr. Laibuta has other firsts. He is an avid golfer and in 2016 spearheaded a golfing campaign dubbed ‘1,000 Holes Blind Golf Challenge’ to raise money for the construction of Kenya Society for the Blind Rehabilitation Centre and the eye-drop production facility to boost eye care and prevention of blindness.