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Justice Chitembwe Kicked Out By Tribunal



Appellate Judge Mumbi Ngugi hands over the tribal report to President Wiliam Ruto at State House on Tuesday February 7, 2023.

A tribunal has recommended the removal of High Court Judge Justice Said Juma Chitembwe who was under investigation.

Findings of the tribunal were presented to President William Ruto on Tuesday afternoon.

The tribunal was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April last year to probe the conduct of Justice Chitembwe. This followed a recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that Justice Chitembwe be removed from office over leaked videos that depicted him in a scheme to compromise an active court case.

President Kenyatta then suspended Justice Chitembwe and appointed the tribunal to determine his suitability to continue serving in the Judiciary over claims of gross misconduct and impropriety.

The tribunal, which was chaired by appellate judge Mumbi Ngugi, was tasked with re-evaluating the evidence that formed basis of the Judicial Service Commission’s decision to recommend the removal of Justice Chitembwe.

Members of the tribunal included Senior Counsel Fred Ojiambo, High Court judge Abida Ali Aroni, Labour Relations Court judge Nzioki wa Makau and lawyer James Ochieng’ Oduol.

Other members were former Kenya Air Force Deputy Commander, Lt Gen Jackson Ndung’u, and former Teachers Service Commission chairperson Lydia Nzomo.

The lead counsel of the tribunal was Senior Counsel Kiragu Kimani, while the joint secretaries were Mr Jasper Mbiuki and Ms Sarah Yamo. Also appointed to the tribunal Joseph Gitonga Riungu (a prosecutor working at the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions) and Edward Omotii Nyang’au (a lawyer) as the assisting counsels.

Sonko alleged that some city lawyers received over Sh315 million to compromise his impeachment process.

In amateur videos released by Sonko, a man purported to be Judge Chitembwe was seen receiving a bag full of money from a lawyer for the purpose of defeating justice.

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Dubbed “The Rot in the Kenyan Judiciary” the first episode of a five-part series shows the events leading to Sonko’s impeachment and Chitembwe’s alleged involvement in fraudulent dealings in his chambers.

The petitioner claimed Chitembwe had been approached by a lawyer and Nairobi County Assembly, majority leader Abdi Guyo asking him to rule against Sonko.

The judge allegedly requested the lawyer to make arrangements for him to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta to give his nod to impeaching Sonko.

The lawyer allegedly confirmed that State House wanted the governor out of office.

Wambua claimed that the lawyer was acting at the behest of Nairobi City County MCAs and a county executive committee member in a desperate bid to have his legal fees paid.

Guyo and the lawyer reportedly visited judge Chitembwe at his residence in Mountain View Estate.

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