Uhuru suspends Justice Chitembwe over graft allegations

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 19 May, 2022 16:19 | 2 mins read
Justice Chitembwe
Justice Said Chitembwe during a past interview by JSC. PHOTO/Courtesy

President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended from office with immediate effect High Court Judge Justice Said Juma Chitembwe over corruption allegations.

In a Gazette Notice No. 5540 dated May 18, 2022, the President has also appointed a tribunal to inquire into the conduct of the Judge, who is accused of gross misconduct.

"On 5th May 2022, His Excellency The President received the Petition of the Judicial Service Commission on the removal from office of Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, Judge of the High Court of Kenya. The Head Of State and Government notes that the Petition contains grave allegations regarding the conduct of the Judge and further notes that allegations of gross misconduct on the part of a judge erode the faith of Kenyans in the fair administration of justice," the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said.

The tribunal, chaired by Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi will entail Senior Counsel Dr Fred N. Ojiambo, Lady Justice Abida Ali Aroni, Justice Nzioki Makau, Mr James Ochieng’ Oduol, Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Jackson W. Ndung’u and Dr Lydia Nzomo.

Senior Counsel Kiragu Kimani will serve as the lead counsel assisted by Joseph Gitonga Riungu and Edward Omotii Nyang’au while Jasper Mbiuki and Sarah Yamo will serve as joint secretaries.

Article 168 (5) of the Constitution requires the President, upon receiving such a petition from the Judicial Service Commission, to suspend the Judge from office and thereafter appoint a tribunal to inquire into the matter.

JSC had recommended removal from office for Justice Chitembwe, who is accused of graft and gross misconduct.

“The JSC considered the report of the panel on the petition initiated by the Commission and is satisfied that the petition discloses grounds for the removal of Justice Chitembwe from office,” the Commission’s Chair and Chief Justice Martha Koome.

The petition for his removal is based on his ruling in 2018 on a case between Pacific Frontier Seas Ltd and Okapi Limited Estate and Jane Mutula Kyengo.