Politics and policy
Tribunal seeks Baraza’s sacking for misconduct
Posted Monday, August 6 2012 at 22:04
Nancy Baraza’s tenure as deputy chief justice came closer to an abrupt end on Monday after a tribunal set up to investigate her conduct found her unfit to hold office.
Describing her conduct as “an embarrassment to the Judiciary,” Tribunal chairman Augostino Ramadhan - a former Tanzanian chief justice said her actions at the Village Market in Nairobi on New Year’s eve served to erode confidence in the institution.”
Also read: Deputy CJ Baraza guilty of gross misconduct
Unless she appeals to the Supreme Court within 10 days, President Mwai Kibaki will sack Ms Baraza in line with the recommendation. If she appeals the Supreme Court has to deliver a verdict within two months, either backing or rejecting the tribunal's decision. In the latter case Ms Baraza would resume her duties.
Baraza's sacking would set the stage for the Judicial Service Commission to fill the position.
Baraza was accused of drawing a gun on security guard Rebecca Kerubo after she refused to undergo a routine security check at the up-market mall. The tribunal was set up following a petition by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), following Ms Kerubo’s complaint to the police over the incident.
The tribunal, which handed the report to President Kibaki at Harambee House before its verdict was beamed live on television, found her guilty of gross misconduct and misbehaviour. She is said to have refused screening, pinched Kerubo’s nose and told “her to know people.” She later returned and threatened Kerubo with a gun after making purchases at a chemist’s in the mall.
The tribunal which comprised Justice (rtd) Philip Ransley, Surinder Kapila, Ms Grace Madoka, Prof Judith Behemuka, Prof Mugambi Kanyua and Beauttah Siganga returned a guilty verdict on Baraza. The tribunal was constituted by the President and sat from July 2 to July 25.
Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga had petitioned the President to suspend Baraza, who was appointed Deputy CJ in June 2011. Baraza was sent home in January.
Justice Ramadhani described Baraza’s witnesses “as liars” and found Kerubo’s evidence credible and consistent.
“We were not impressed by the DCJ’s evidence. There were discrepancies in her evidence,” the tribunal said. Ms Kerubo, who testified before the tribunal without legal representation has since said she intends to sue the Baraza for damages.