Sonko is My Relative - Judge Chitembwe Breaks Silence

  • Justice Chitembwe Said Juma
    Justice Chitembwe Said Juma appearing before the JSC for his interview for the position of Chief Justice on Monday, April 12, 2021
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  • High Court Judge, Said Juma Chitembwe, has come out to defend himself over a video leaked by former Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, allegedly linking him to bribery.

    In an interview with KTN News on Wednesday, November 17, the Judge argued that "the video was edited to frame me." This statement stood out as the Judge sought to clear his name from the leaks that have since gone viral on social media.

    He added that the former governor was able to access him easily since they were relatives and both grew up in Kwale. 

    "I have known Sonko and his father for years. Sonko's aunt, the elder sister to his mum, was married to my late cousin. Sonko calls me uncle and of course he would come to my place although not frequently," the judge stated. 

    Justice Said Chitembwe Speaking During an Interview on Wednesday November 17, 2021
    Justice Said Chitembwe Speaking During an Interview on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
    KTN News

    On Tuesday, November 16, Sonko released a video recording of a meeting between the Judge's alleged brother soliciting and receiving a bribe on behalf of the Judge. The video would become the topic of discussion across social media platforms and eventually in the mainstream media.

    Chitembwe, however, made it clear that all the allegations labelled against him were doctored and tailored to suit a notion that he is not fit to hold office.

    The High Court Judge noted that the videos were meant to fit a specific narrative as intended by the former city boss. 

    “I have no problem. Let the videos go round because they are edited to fit a particular narrative. Some parts have been left. I knew about the existence of the videos in July and it was just a matter of when they would be out,” he stated.

    The Judge denied links with the person who was identified in the leaked videos as his brother. Chitembwe noted that they only come from the same rural home.

    “That man is not my brother, not my uncle and our parents are not related. However, I have known him for over 10 years because we both come from Kwale.”

    According to the Judge, the videos was taken when he was approached by a client who wanted to purchase land from Sonko. To avoid being defrauded, the client sought advise from him.

    “He pleaded with me to allow him come to my house with the politician whom I had cut links with earlier. He was afraid he might be conned. I allowed the three of them to come to my house,” Chitembwe clarified.

    “We were not trying to compromise any court case that day. They were pursuing appellants in a certain case, asking them to withdraw the matter for an out of court settlement."

    The Judge further lifted the lid on his relationship with Sonko. He narrated that he enjoyed cordial relationship the former governor until when a petition challenging Governor Anne Kananu’s swearing-in was filed.

    The Judge castigated Sonko of staging the leaks as revenge strategy against him for giving the greenlight for the swearing-in of Kananu as Nairobi's third Governor.

    “It is not a coincidence that the videos are released on the day of Anne Kananu's swearing-in. He was angry the petition did not go through. He is on record asking why I dismissed the case yet I am his uncle. The videos were released out of anger."

    The soft spoken Judge concluded by asking those pushing for his ouster to follow the right legal processes which he is ready to take the stand and defend himself.

    High Court Judge Justice Said Juma Chitembwe speaking during a previous event.
    High Court Judge Justice Said Juma Chitembwe speaking during a previous event.
    (Courtesy)