NOT GIVEN TIME

Chitembwe to appeal JSC decision to eject him from office

The judge, through one of his advocates, claims process leading to his removal was not fair.

In Summary
  • He will be questioning whether the process was fair and if it conformed to the requirement of fair administrative action under Article 47. 
  • Chitembwe will become the eighth judge to face a tribunal over allegations of misconduct since the 2010 Constitution was adopted.
Justice Said Juma Chitembwe during his interview for the position of Supreme Court judge.
Justice Said Juma Chitembwe during his interview for the position of Supreme Court judge.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Justice Said Chitembwe is considering appealing a decision by the Judicial Service Commission that recommended his removal from office over allegations of gross misconduct. 

The judge, through one of his advocates, claims the process leading to his removal was not fair. 

Speaking to the Star, the advocate, who sought anonymity, said his client was not given time to defend himself against the petition by his employer.

He will be questioning whether the process was fair and if it conformed to the requirement of fair administrative action under Article 47. 

The article stipulates that every person has the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.

"We are considering challenging the decision. We will be pleading double jeopardy, " one of his advocates said. 

The advocate said when the petition filed by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko petition was going on, they were told the one by the commission would be held in abeyance. This meant it would await the outcome of the others. 

"But when the Sonko matter was terminated, the commission went ahead and did a report which my client only got to know of in the local media. He has been unwell and was on bed rest until May 1."

The advocate further said there must be some set rules and things have to be handled in uniformity.

The team is currently waiting for Hansard from the commission which has all the proceedings that took place before filing the appeal. 

In a statement delivered last week, Chief Justice Martha Koome, who chairs the JSC, said the commission had considered the report of a panel it constituted and is "satisfied that the petition discloses grounds for the removal of Justice Said Juma Chitembwe from office."

"Accordingly, the commission resolved to send the petition to the President for his further action in accordance with the provisions of Article 168(1) of the Constitution," Koome said.

The JSC action sets in motion grounds for President Uhuru Kenyatta to suspend the judge and form a tribunal to investigate his conduct.

The tribunal will recommend whether Chitembwe should be sacked or not.

Chitembwe will become the eighth judge to face a tribunal over allegations of misconduct since the 2010 Constitution was adopted.

 

(edited by Amol Awuor)

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