Uhuru Takes Action Against Justice Chitembwe

  • Justice Chitembwe Said Juma appeared before the JSC for his interview for the position of Chief Justice on May 3, 2021.
    Justice Chitembwe Said Juma appeared before the JSC for his interview for the position of Chief Justice on May 3, 2021.
    Courtesy JSC
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended Justice Said Juma Chitembwe with immediate effect.

    In a Gazette Notice published on Thursday, May 17, Uhuru directed the embattled judge to go on suspension and also formed a Tribunal led by Justice Mumbi Ngugi to look into his conduct.

    The Tribunal will inquire into the matter and give its findings to the President. Members of the Tribunal include Senior Counsel Fred Ojiambo, Court of Appeal judge Justice Abida Ali Aroni, Justice Nzioki wa Makau, James Ochieng Oduol, Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Jackson W. Ndungu, Dr Lydia Nzomo, and Senior Counsel Kiragu Kimani. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday at State House, Nairobi signed into law five parliamentary bills among them the 2022 Supplementary I Appropriation Bill (Supplementary Budget).
    President Uhuru Kenyatta signs into law five parliamentary bills on Monday, April 4, at State House, Nairobi.
    PSCU

    "The mandate of the Tribunal shall be to consider the Petition for the removal of Justice Said Juma Chitembwe from office that was submitted by the Judicial Service Commission and to inquire into the allegations therein. 

    "In the discharge of its functions, the Tribunal shall: (a) Prepare and submit a report and its recommendations thereon expeditiously; and (b) Exercise all the powers conferred upon it by law for the proper execution of its mandate," the notice read in part. 

    On May 4, JSC published a report noting that they had reviewed the petitions against Justice Chitembwe and found he was not fit for office.

    The commission sent its recommendation to President Uhuru Kenyatta for further action.

    "The Commission would like to notify the public that the panel constituted to consider the Petitions concluded its work and presented its report to the full Commission for deliberation.

    "At its meeting on 27 April 2022, the JSC considered the report of the panel on the petition initiated by the Commission on its own motion and is satisfied that the Petition discloses grounds for the removal of Hon. Mr Justice Chitembwe Said Juma from office, pursuant to the provisions of Article 168 ( 1 ) of the Constitution," the JSC stated.

    The constitution stipulates that, upon receiving a petition from the JSC on the removal of a judge, the president shall within 14 days suspend the judge and form a tribunal to probe the allegations levelled against him. 

    High court judge Said Chitembwe appears for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews on April 12 2021.
    High court judge Said Chitembwe appears for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews on April 12 2021.
    File

    Chitembwe's perils began after former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko shared videos and photos purporting that the judicial officer allegedly received bribes on cases before him. 

    In the videos, Sonko recorded a meeting with the Judge's brother soliciting and receiving a bribe on behalf of the Judge. The video would become the topic of discussion across social media platforms and the mainstream media.

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