LACKS TRANSPARENCY

Justice Nderi faults country's disciplinary process of judges, magistrates

Labour Court judge says process as it is now is not transparent.

In Summary

• He said as judges they waste a lot of judicial time going to appear before the Judicial Service Commission to answer the complaints.

• If appointed CJ, Nderi said will put up proper structures to deal with the issues and complaints because he knows judges are concerned about them.

Justice Nduma Mathews Nderi on the hot seat before the Judicial Service Commission during the Chief Justice position interview on April 19, 2021.
Justice Nduma Mathews Nderi on the hot seat before the Judicial Service Commission during the Chief Justice position interview on April 19, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Labour Court Judge Nduma Nderi has faulted the current disciplinary processes of judges and magistrates in the Judiciary.

Nderi said the process as it is now is not transparent.

He said as judges they waste a lot of judicial time going to appear before the Judicial Service Commission to answer the complaints.

Nderi is one of the 10 shortlisted candidates for the position of Kenya's next Chief Justice. 

Judge Nderi on Monday told the JSC panel that if appointed CJ, he will put up proper structures to deal with the issues and complaints because he knows judges are concerned about them.

Judge Nderi has also refused to give his views on how he will deal with the 2022 presidential election petition.

Responding to a question by Justice Mohamed Warsame on whether he would depart from former CJ David Maraga 1 decision, Nderi said his answer would not auger well with some people.

Judge Nderi said he is passionate about women and girls issues especially on the issue of discrimination at the workplace.

He said this has influenced how he writes his judgments.

Judge Nderi also said he has partnered with the International Labour Organisation to train the judges of the Employment Court on these issues.

It is his view that there is a discrepancy in the salary of women and men in most workplaces.

The judge also defended his decision to award teachers the 50-60 per cent pay rise saying there was compelling evidence from the teachers about what they earned and being denied an increase since 1997.

"Some teachers were earning as little as 15,000 per month," he said.

"I believe that were it not for that decision the situation of teachers would not have changed. Today all teachers got between 50-60 per cent pay rise which is what I had initially ruled."

The judge says at that time there were so many strikes in the country due to that issue of pay but due to his ruling that has changed.

JSC Commissioner Macharia Njeru was concerned about the ruling on teachers arguing that Judge Nderi didn't consider the big picture.

Njeru was of the opinion that the judge ignored the effects of his teachers ruling being that it might have caused an economic crisis.